Dealing with teargas: from the Palestinian experience

Dealing with teargas:


Most of the tactics below are used in order to decrease the effects of teargas in order to remain conscious and avoid collapsing.


1- Take note of the direction of the wind all the times, and look for the location of the teargas canister in order to avoid it. Move in the opposite direction of the wind as to not get caught up in a cloud of teargas.


2- To avoid getting hit by a canister look up in the direction it’s being shot and check where the teargas canister falls, it’s less harmful for you to inhale some teargas than have a canister fall on your head.


3- Use a bandana, kuffiyeh, or any scarf that is soaked in vinegar, or has strong perfume sprayed on it and cover your face/nose with it. (This can both assist with the teargas and help cover your face for security reasons)


4-Use alcohol pads that can be purchased at your local pharmacy and when there is teargas, open the pad place it under your nose and breathe through it. This helps you not faint or collapse from teargas inhalation.


5-DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES! Teargas makes your eyes burn like fires from hell, but touching them will only exasperate the pain. Instead, use the alcohol pad to wipe under your eyes, or use a dry tissue to hold between your eyelids (in between your eyelashes) and close your eyes so it can soak up the teargas that’s stuck in your eyes.

6-Do not wash your face with water, as it will only increase the reaction of teargas with your skin and cause a burning sensation. Instead use milk or cola. Wait 10 minutes before drinking water, otherwise you’ll get nauseous. Sweat will also react with the teargas, it’s recommended to wear long pants. Gas that sticks in your hair and pores may sting in the shower, the sting passes within 20-30 seconds.

7- The effects of teargas usually last about 3 minutes, depending on the amount you inhale. So remember – mind over matter, keep reminding yourself this pain will pass, even as you have the urge to collapse. Make sure you’re getting away from the source of teargas whilst constantly reminding yourself the pain will pass. Stay standing up.


8- Spit. Spit a lot. It helps getting the gas out of your system. Also hold one nostril closed and blow out the other to get the tear gas out.


9- If you want to return teargas canisters towards the police/army as a present, it’s a good idea to be  wearing heavy work gloves that can sustain heat, as the canisters will more and more hot from the moment they explode. A more effective means is not to only throw it back directly at the oppressing forces, but to test the wind and throw it at a location in which the wind will carry the teargas towards them.


10- The “Venom” launcher mounted on top of vehicles, or the multiple projectiles are much smaller than a single canister and the gas comes out faster, so there’s no point in trying to return them. In this case also it’s important to look at the direction the canisters are shot from in order to avoid getting hit. The amount of gas can completely fill up a street and it will take it more time to dissipate as it hangs in the air.

****Rubber bullets,plastic coated steel bullets & Foam baton.


There is a misconception that rubber bullets are not lethal, however a hit to the torso or head from close range can cause severe injury and even death.  


1-If you hear rubber bullets being shot, turn around make sure your back is facing the direction of the shot, bow (about 45°), keep your head down and cover your head and neck with your hands. You will have around 3-5 seconds to move somewhere before the bullet reaches you, so attempt to hide behind something as to avoid injury.


2-In case of injury ice the area immediately in order to avoid inflammation of the bruise. You can purchase “cooler spray” from your local pharmacy. If there is bleeding do NOT freeze the wound, instead apply pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding and locate the closest medic/ambulance.


3-Carrying a backpack can help provide protection against rubber bullets.


***Stun grenades/ sound bombs


These are used in order to induce fear and anxiety amongst demonstrators. If they are at a distance from you, they are generally not harmful so do not be afraid.


1-If the grenade was thrown at a close distance from you, turn your back to it cover your ears and close your eyes as to not have any fragments/shrapnel harm you.


2-If you are at close range from the grenade try and move away from it quickly, if it

explodes near you it can cause minor bruises.



1- use dumpsters to block the police’s way or to hide from rubber bullets or even burn the garbage inside to make it harder for the police to see you.

2- try to get painter mask or gas mask & use them with the work gloves to throw back the tear gas.

3- always improvise & try to find a way to deal with the new things they are using & remember ACAB.

From Palestine to Ferguson, Bahrain, Egypt, Athens, Istanbul, Brazil, Barcelona and all resisting people all over the world.



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