Amateur photographer Ahmad Nazzal captured Israeli forces spraying ‘skunk water’ at a Palestinian child during the Kafr Qaddum weekly march in the occupied West Bank on Friday.
Five-year-old Muhammad Riyad appears standing in front of Israeli forces wearing a Palestinian Keffiyeh before the forces begin chasing him with skunk water, the boy eventually falling to the ground.
The foul-smelling liquid has been used by the Israeli military as a form of non-lethal crowd control since at least 2008 and can leave individuals and homes smelling like feces and garbage for weeks.
Skunk water was developed by Israeli company Odortec Ltd. in conjunction with the Israel police and is generally sprayed from specially designed trucks up to a range of 30-40 meters, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.
Israeli army spokesperson has reported that skunk contains “organic material and has been approved for use by the Israeli Ministry of the Environment and the Chief IDF Medical Officer,” although the exact contents of the rancid liquid have been contested, B’Tselem says.
The rights group documented regular use of skunk water by Israeli forces, and has accused the forces of using the substance for collective punishment, citing instances of Israeli security forces driving skunk trucks down the streets of villages known for active demonstrations and spraying the substance into residents’ homes.
Photographer Nazzal had headed to cover the Kafr Qaddum weekly march, this week commemorating the 67th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, when he witnessed Friday’s incident.
Four Palestinians were also injured with live fire as Israeli forces suppressed the march.
An Israeli army spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the incident.