The IDF Ground Forces will begin using a new, safer type of hand grenade in the course of the year, reports the IDF Website. The safer grenade will not explode if struck by an enemy bullet. The development of the grenade was accelerated after the death of Major Eliraz Peretz in Gaza in 2010, when an enemy bullet hit a grenade he was carrying in his vest.
The grenade is an upgraded version of the veteran no. 26 grenade. However, the spark that detonates its explosive component will only be lit if the grenade's safety has been removed.
Maj. Yoav Galster, Combat Equipment Commander in the Land Forces Weapons Division told the IDF Website's Idan Sonsino, "There are already tens of thousands of these grenades in the IDF's stores. The means of operation and the effect will stay the same, there will only be a great leap forward in terms of safety. This is the first non-sensitive ammunition currently used by the Ground Forces."
The IDF is also considering upgrading existing grenades by replacing their safety mechanisms with the upgraded kind.
The Ground Forces are also preparing to begin use another new type of grenade – the "launched smoke grenade." This is a grenade that can be fired from any rifle, instead of being thrown manually as is usually the case. This makes it possible to screen the enemy's line of sight in a fuller way while affording a better line of vision for friendly troops.