20. CTS Jamestown, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem, West Bank - Palestine
Giclée print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper
30 x 42 cm
5/5 edition (+ AP)
A 40mm tear gas shell casing lies on a road in Bethlehem. Many of the used tear gas shells found on the ground bear the name of the manufacturer - Combined Tactical Systems from Jamestown Pennsylvania in the United States. Tear gas is the most prominent tool in the 'less lethal' / crowd control arsenal of the Israeli security forces in the West Bank. In October 2015, 8-month-old Ramadan Mohammad Faisal Thawabta suffocated from the effects of tear gas in his family home in Beit Fajjar.
In 1933, Palestine became the first place tear gas was used against civilians by the British Empire. Earlier requests by colonial officials to use the gas had been denied by the British government who upheld the ban on teargas in warfare outlined by the Geneva Gas Protocol in 1925. In late 1933, a new conservative government in London approved its use after a memo by the Secretary of State for War outlined five points for the use of gas by police forces. The British government cited the American exception to the Geneva Gas Protocol in permitting the use of gas by policing forces during civil disturbances.