In a story touted as “exclusive,” the Palestine News Network (PNN) last week confused the harmless, though foul smelling, “Skunk” spray used by the Israel Defense Forces as a crowd dispersal tool, with a bio-warfare agent.
PNN declared that the IDF “uses feces of Israeli residents and settlers as a form of bio-warfare against Palestinian farmers in the villages of Wadi Fuqeen and Nahaleen.”
“Additionally, the Israeli army has developed a large vehicle for spraying sewage waste and feces at Palestinian protesters and homes, reportedly, in the towns of Abu Dis, Aizariah, Bil’in and Nabi Saleh,” the site claims. “Spraying sewage waste has become so common a weapon used by the Israeli Army that the combination of sewage water, feces, and human urine has been named ’skunk.’”
Indeed, the foul-smelling substance is called “Skunk,” but it “poses no health hazard,” says maker Odortec ltd.
In an email to The Algemeiner, a company spokesman said that the product contains “only food grade ingredients” and, in use for the past five years, no health-related injuries have ever been reported. “Needless to say, these publications of using feces are pure lies,” the company representative added.
On its website, Odortec says, “The Skunk is not volatile, it’s inflammable - in fact, it can even be used to put out fires in a pinch - and it poses no health hazard.”
“Despite its outrageous smell, the Skunk liquid is perfectly safe to consume. While the smell does linger in the air, there are no other long-term effects; and even clothes hit with the Skunk can be used after a simple washing… Using 100% food-grade ingredients, the Skunk is 100% eco-friendly - harmless to both nature and people.”
In a 2008 BBC feature, Israeli security forces said that Skunk could also be used by other law-enforcement agencies as a safe alternative to more physical methods of crowd control, such as rubber bullets and tear gas.
Rather than bio-warfare, the BBC said Skunk has “no illegal chemicals, no proscribed substances - just a thoroughly disgusting mix of yeast, baking powder and a few other ’secret’ ingredients.”
Describing its stench, the BBC’s correspondent said, “Imagine the worst, most foul thing you have ever smelled. An overpowering mix of rotting meat, old socks that haven’t been washed for weeks - topped off with the pungent waft of an open sewer.”
In the words of Odortec, “The overpowering odor of the Skunk drives rioters away - and keeps them away - effectively shutting down any escalating situation. Currently in regular use by law enforcement agencies, the Skunk has been field tested and proven to disperse even the most determined of violent protests.”
The company spokesman affirmed, “It really smells bad, but it’s healthy…”