Report: Israeli Army will Use Intifada Era Weapons to Curb Riots

Published July 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Israeli army is preparing to use vehicles once used for dispersing violent clashes with civilians during the early stages of the Intifada, in anticipation of serious disturbances in the West Bank and Gaza in coming weeks surrounding a Palestinian declaration of statehood, reported Haaretz newspaper, quoting military sources. 

The source said that the army has made assessments predicting that an imminent unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence in September may spark riots in the occupied territories, said the paper.  

"The IDF is readying various equipment for use in upcoming weeks, including Hatzatzit, a crowd-dispersing weapon that shoots out thousands of pieces of gravel at distances of hundreds of meters," said the source. 

But some military officers have criticized the weapon's effectiveness, saying it that the vehicle is slow and fraught with technical difficulties, Haaretz said. 

Some officers viewed the vehicle as symbolic of Israel's failure to effectively counter and contain the Intifada.  

"The only advantage was that the soldiers felt they were returning to the Palestinians some of their own weapons," an officer who served in reserve duty in the territories during the Intifada told Haaretz - 

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