Less lethal than a bullet in the head. Sorta.
The International Midle East Media Centre (IMEMC) report (via):
The Israeli army and Border Police prevented Bil’in’s weekly Friday non-violent demonstration, by firing rubber bullets and sound grenades on protestors as they marched through the village on their way to the Apartheid wall.Rubber bullets fall into that mendacious category of "less lethal" weaponary alongside such lovable, cuddly accoutrements as tasers, "bean bags" (which bear little resemblance to the ones you may remember from school PE lessons) and a giant microwave-cum-heat-ray currently being developed in the US. Sure, these multitude devices may not be as immediately life-threatening as the old-fashioned volley of hot lead, but, the risks are very real and as I have argued previously, the "less lethal" appellation (or its "non-lethal" antecedent which has now fallen from favour) will serve to lower the threshold imposed on the use of force. Incidentally, this is an assessment which seems to be backed up by video footage of Friday's (entirely one-sided) violence.
Fourteen people from Bil’in, Israelis and internationals, have been injured, including an Israeli in critical condition who was shot on neck and just above his right ear with 3 rubber bullets at close range. He has had surgery at Tel Hashomer hospital to remove a rubber bullet that was lodged in his skull. Currently he is in a medical induced coma in moderate but stable condition, but has sustained brain damage of unknown severity. Today his condition is listed as stable but serious since the doctors do not know the extent of brain damage that has occured.