Skunk water wrongly used on Orthodox protestors, committee hears

MK Ben Gvir told his colleagues that skunk water was used  to quell haredi protestors. 

By World Israel News Staff

Israel police were subject to heavy criticism Tuesday. They were accused of using skunk water on haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, protesters recently contrary to legal rulings.

Skunk water, developed by Israeli firm Odortec and exported to police departments in the U.S., uses a noxious smelling spray to disperse rioters. People who have been sprayed have described it as “worse than raw sewage” and “like a mixture of excrement, noxious gas and a decomposing donkey,” according to the BBC, while others have complained that the stench lingers on clothes and equipment indefinitely.

Israeli courts have previously ruled that although non-lethal, it can be used only in Level Three protests, which are those in “violation of public order with protesters violently resisting police or the public in a manner that may cause bodily harm or damage to property,” MK Itamar Ben Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) reminded his colleagues.

Speaking at the Knesset’s Internal Security Committee Tuesday, Ben Gvir recounted his recent experience at a protest in Jerusalem, held to demand a formal investigation into the death of Ahuvia Sandak, who was killed when the car he was in crashed while being chased by police.

“They told me to move, to go away, because they were about to spray everyone, but I refused – I said I wouldn’t move and that if they wanted to spray, they could spray me first – as a public servant, I would stand there and get sprayed, and that’s what happened,” Ben Gvir said.

“An unbelievable stench – I was considering bringing my suit to the Knesset the next day to show everyone how revolting it is. I had to take shower after shower afterward.”

Addressing police representatives present at the committee meeting, Ben Gvir added, “You’re doing sacred work, important work, work someone has to do in order to maintain order – but it’s not clear that you’re only using such means when they are truly justified, and that isn’t in the best interests of the police,either.”