Weapons: June 14, 2005

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Israel has developed a new crowd control weapon; a Sound Cannon called, The Scream (for the effect it has on people, causing them to cover their ears and scream in pain). The new device got its first use (aside from tests on volunteers) against Palestinians and Israelis protesting the security wall. The next major use is expected to be against violent demonstrations by Israeli settlers this August, as the government forces Israeli settlers out of their Gaza settlements. The government wont release technical details on The Scream, but from what has been discussed, it appears to be generate low frequency sound in a focused beam. There have been several focused sound devices showing up lately. This one uses low frequency sound to act on the inner ear, and induce nausea, dizziness and pain. The low frequency approach also means that its probably very difficult to protect yourself from the sound, or its effects. An elaborate (sound dampened) helmet might do the trick, or some kind of sound canceling device. To prevent people from coming up with counter-measures, the Israelis are trying to keep technical details secret. 

Israel has been trying to develop new non-lethal weapons, to deal with violent Palestinian demonstrators for over five years. There has not been much success in this area. The protestors who are violent, and have to be dealt with non-lethal weapons, tend to spread out and not provide easy targets. Such protesters are also pumped up, and resistant to a lot of the existing non-lethal weapons. Tear gas and rubber bullets have, at best, partial success in dealing with violent demonstrators. The Scream may have better results, if the effect of getting zapped keeps protestors disoriented for a while. 

The Scream is truck mounted, and apparently emits a blast of focused sound every ten seconds at a crowd. After less than a minute of this, most people are covering their ears (which doesnt stop the sound), looking dizzy and rather uncomfortable. The demonstration thus changes into a mass sick-in. The Scream appears to have a range of 400-500 meters, and troops in the vehicle, and behind it, appeared un protected from the sound, and unaffected by it as well. 

 


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