As Israeli politicians ratchet up the racist and xenophobic rhetoric against asylum seekers and migrant workers, the police import means of oppression against Palestinians in West Bank for their fight against asylum seekers: water cannons and skunk water.
Skunk water being shot at Palestinian protesters in the West Bank village of Bil'in (Photo: Wikipedia)
Buoyed by a predominantly racist and facile public discussion on asylum seekers and migrant workers, “infiltrators” as they are called nowadays in Israel, Israel’s police is requesting resurrection of a special unit dismantled for financial reasons only one year ago. The Rimon unit initially targeted smuggling and the trafficking in women along the border with Egypt, and was established in 2003 by order of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
On 24 May, Israel’s Minister of Internal Security Ahronovitch demanded that the Rimon unit be reconstituted for the fight against asylum seekers and migrant workers.
And unitl the Rimon unit will be ready for action, according to the Hebrew-language online news site nrg.co.il, the police will borrow tools of oppression currently against Palestinians in the West Bank for this fight: water cannons and skunk water.
Reputedly first used in 2008 to attack the popular Palestinian protests against the Separation Wall and Israeli settlements in Na’alin, skunk water was developed by Israeli researchers at the Rafael Armament Development Authority in 2004. Although initially described as a non-lethal way to disperse riots, it has been used until now to deny Palestinians and their Israeli and international partners the right to protest Israeli colonisation policies.