Israel deploys 'tear gas drones' against Palestinian protests
Palestinians have held demonstrations near Rachel's Tomb, outside Bethlehem, as well as close to the Qalandiya checkpoint in north Jerusalem.
Israeli police have now used drones armed with tear gas to disperse the protests despite only being authorised for use in rare cases, according to the daily.
Such methods were first used during Palestinian protests on the Gaza border in 2018.
The tactic of using drones to drop tear gas was approved by the then head of border police, Kobi Shabtai, who now holds the position of police commissioner, to suppress protests in Palestinian lands.
Each remotely controlled drone can drop between six and 12 canisters of tear gas. Drone pilots use the onboard camera to target groups and have claimed a high level of precision.
"These measures proved to be effective in maintaining a distance between soldiers and demonstrators. During the approval process by the police, which took several years, safety aspects were examined, as well as operational advantages and licensing issues," Israeli police stated.
These claims were countered by Palestinians, who said that canisters were dropped at people who were not involved in the protests.
The use of drones to drop canisters of tear gas is supposed to be reserved for the most extreme cases of break downs in public order and violence.
Jerusalem's Old City has been rocked by Palestinian demonstrations after a march by far-right Jewish extremists - who chanted racist slogans and violently attacked locals - injured over 100 Palestinians.
Since then, Israeli police have brutally cracked down on protesting Palestinians, arresting many, and beating others with batons.