In Gaza, Israel counts on army snipers over non-lethal arsenal

Gaza: Skunk water, sticky foam, sponge grenades and tear gas-spraying drones are among the non-lethal methods Israel has pioneered to quell Palestinian protests.

Given this extensive toolkit, Israel is struggling to explain why its snipers fired enough bullets into Gaza Monday to kill 60 Palestinians and wound about 1200. As with previous conflicts there, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government may face investigations and censure from international legal bodies.

Some youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs at Israeli troops. Others used wire-cutters to try to breach the border fence. Though witnesses say most protesters were unarmed, army footage aired on Israel’s Hadashot News showed a group with with guns, bombs, grenades and wire-cutters trying to cross the fence; all eight were shot dead.

Ambulances and hospitals were overwhelmed, said Ayman Sahabani, chief of surgery at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. “We’re at 25 times our capacity and our drug inventory is exhausted,” he said. Some reports put the number of hospitalised Palestinians at more than 1300.

Read the report in The Sydney Morning Herald (from Bloomberg).