TEL AVIV (Jul. 19)
The Israel Defense Force is now completing its operational testing of a new type of bullet — made of sand — that is meant to be fired from very close range without posing any danger.
Commanders and soldiers have reportedly given positive opinions of the new bullet, which is expected to be put into service shortly.
The sand bullet is a small round bag filled with sand. Each shot contains three such bags that are fired from a special rifle.
The sand bullet can be fired from distances of around 130 feet or less. It hits hard and painfully but does not enter the body and is not fatal.
The bullet’s first tests, conducted a few weeks ago, were unsuccessful, Ma’ariv reported Thursday. In the second round of tests, the bullets have reportedly been improved.
The IDF has received severe criticism over previous bullets, particularly those rubber and plastic bullets used against Palestinian demonstrators in the territories. Bullets that had been declared safe have caused fatalities.
The sand bullet was developed after it became clear that the IDF did not have the means to strike at short range, in clashes with rock-throwers and rioters.
Meanwhile, a new rubber bullet, less dangerous than its predecessor, is now in use in the