National Security

Reporter Suggests Israeli Police Use Tasers Against Knife-Wielding Palestinians

A reporter suggested Tuesday afternoon the State Department encourage Israeli police to use tasers instead of guns to contain Palestinian attackers wielding knives.

Citing the use of a stun gun to arrest a Muslim terrorist in London who stabbed three people on Monday, Said Arikat of the Palestinian Al Quds Daily DC proposed Israeli security personnel do the same to avoid bloodshed from "the excessive use of force by the Israeli army" against Palestinian teenagers.

"Drawing on the lesson from London just the other day when a knife-wielding terrorist was basically subdued by a taser, wouldn’t it be more prudent for the Israelis to use such methods in subduing these kids instead of turning them into martyrs and basically accelerating and fanning the flames?" Arikat asked John Kirby. "Wouldn’t it be better in using methods like this to sort of neutralize these would be knife-wielding?"

Kirby refused to comment on the specific circumstances of the events in London or in Jerusalem but said the United States wants the violence to stop so a two-state solution could be achieved.

Arikat, a professor of sociology at American University, pressed on.

"You would prefer if you saw a situation where less lethal force was used to achieve the same results basically, would you?" Arikat asked.

Kirby put the responsibility for violence in the region on both sides and urged both Israel and Palestine to "take ten steps back" and "breathe."

Arikat’s line of questioning did not include the fact that the police used stun guns did not work at first at the Leytonstone Tube Station. Video of the attack, in which the 29-year-old suspect Muhaydin Mire screamed, "this is for Syria," shows that Mire did not immediately go down after being hit with the stun gun. Witnesses of the incident reported the terrorist "went back to have another go."

The question also did not address where the violence originated in the first place: the attackers bearing knives. Hamas called for a "day of rage" against Israel that prompted Palestinian youth to attack Israeli civilians with knives and even throw bombs at ancient sites. Dozens of attacks have ensued in months of violence. Israel has said they have no choice but to defend themselves. The increased violence in the region has led to casualties on both sides of the dispute.