Daily Israel Report

Knesset Discusses Use of Taser Guns

Israel's police chief is seeking the opinion of lawmakers after he temporarily banned the weapon following misuse by officers.
By Adam Ross
First Publish: 10/2/2013, 2:16 PM

Knesset discusses Taser
Knesset discusses Taser
Hezki Ezra

The Knesset's State Control Committee has convened to discuss the use of the Taser guns by Israeli Police.

Wednesday's meeting is being attended by Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, the Police Legal Advisor, and representatives from the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Investigation of Policemen.

Also taking part were representatives of the Economy Ministry who authorized the import of the gun, of the company that imported the guns, of Israel's Bar Association and of the Medical Federation. 

The Taser gun is designed to incapacitate a person by administering an electric shock aimed at disrupting superficial muscle functions.

The recipient of the shock is immobilized via two metal probes connected via wires to the electroshock device. He feels pain, and can be momentarily paralyzed while an electric current is being applied.

Israeli civilians who have been injured by gun were also present at the meeting.

Head of the committee, MK Amnon Cohen (Shas) said ahead of the meeting:

"It is our obligation to supply the police with the means to do their work, but on the condition that this is done within clearly agreed upon guidelines. Otherwise the use of the Taser gun will be neither correctly proportionate nor intelligent."

Police Commissioner Danino had previously ordered the Taser gun to be taken out of use, after police stunned Boaz Albert, a resident of Yitzhar (in Samaria) with the gun, and used violence against him in front of his children even though he hadn't resisted arrest.

Police forced their entry into the Albert home six weeks ago in the community of Yitzhar, arresting him after he broke an administrative order banning him from the area where lived.

A police investigation tasked with studying Taser use said the problem was not the Taser, but rather the “human factor,” describing police officers as ignorant of the proper protocol. The weapon is now back in use, but Danino said he wanted lawmakers to have their say and help define protocol for police.