Israeli army officers have issued a decree banning the sale of cartridges that contain CO2 gas for use in a range of military-issued equipment.
The decree issued Thursday bans sales of “copper-plated” cartridges that emit CO2 into the atmosphere, including in military-issue helmets, tanks and tanksetters, and other “military-issue” weapons.
It also bans the sale, importation and sale of any type of CO3-emitting device, including “CO2 cylinders, devices or equipment,” and “coach’s equipment, including training and equipment.”
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to The Jerusalem Press Center that the ban had been issued, adding that it “will be implemented in a very strict manner, and with the goal of eliminating the illegal smuggling of the devices.”
The directive, however, was issued in response to an investigation launched by Israel’s Supreme Court into the sale and use of CO-gas cylinders, including one that was allegedly produced by Israeli firm BAE Systems.
The court ordered that the company’s devices be confiscated and destroyed and that it pay $1.1 million in compensation.
The investigation is still ongoing.
“This is a clear violation of the court order, and the military is taking appropriate action,” said Rosenfeld.
“It will be a very difficult task to combat this smuggling operation, but it will be the best thing that can be done to ensure that CO2 cylinders are not used in military equipment.”
A spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Defense said the ban is not a direct attack on Israeli citizens, but “a measure designed to ensure safety in the use of military equipment by soldiers, and not to affect military personnel or equipment.”
He said it “takes into account that the sale or transfer of these devices would not be permitted without the approval of the Chief of Staff of the IDF.”
The IDF, which is responsible for all military equipment in Israel, declined to comment on the new regulation.
In the past, Israeli law prohibited the sale to civilians of the use or sale of devices that emit dangerous CO2 gases, but was later loosened.
The new directive is the latest move in a series of moves to restrict the use and sale in the military of CO² devices, which emit a gas that has been linked to cancer and respiratory problems.
Last year, the IDF also banned the sale at least for the time being of devices containing CO2, though it is unclear if that ban will remain in place.
A report in the Times of Israel in July reported that the IDF had banned the use for the duration of Operation Protective Edge.
The IDF said at the time that the devices are prohibited because they “do not meet the military’s operational requirements for use.”
In March, the head of the Israel Air Force, Lt.
Col. Avigdor Lieberman, told reporters that the air force would consider issuing an order banning the use “of devices containing a substance that is dangerous to health or that causes cancer.”
The report also said that “the Israeli Air Force would be willing to consider a proposal for military service regulations requiring that a CO2 device be designed to emit the gas at a specific rate.”
“This will be something that will have to be approved by the Chief Commander of the Air Force,” Lieberman added.
According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, “in the future” it will issue regulations to prohibit the use by the IDF of any device that emits CO2.
The report added that the Israeli Air force would also issue orders “to prevent the use in the air of devices emitting CO2 at a rate greater than 3 meters per second, in accordance with the regulations issued in June of last year.”