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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Israel devises new 'smelly' bomb
An Israeli soldier points an M-16 with a rubber bullet attachment at Palestinian demonstrators [archive photo]
Israel's use of rubber bullets has been controversial
The Israeli army has devised a non-lethal way of keeping back Palestinian protesters - a smelly "skunk" bomb.

The stink bomb gives off a synthetic version of the odour emitted by skunks to keep their enemies at bay.

Trials showed that the weapon is so pungent it can stay in clothes for five years, say officials.

If implemented, the bomb could replace the army's use of rubber bullets, which has led to the deaths of many Palestinians in recent years.

The Israeli army - criticised for using excessive force in fighting the Palestinian uprising - said it was working to develop non-lethal weapons.

Security officials quoted by Reuters news agency say the smelly weapon is being developed as an alternative way of breaking up protests and stone-throwing confrontations.

Another weapon being devised is a fibreglass tank shell that disintegrates in the air, causing a large blast but no casualties, Reuters reports.


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