Israeli security forces have started to use a foul-smelling liquid to disperse Palestinian protests in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli police say the new crowd-control method, which they call a "skunk bomb," was used for the first time Friday in the village of Naalin. Palestinians have been holding almost daily protests against a security barrier that Israel is building in the area.

Israeli police say a water-spraying device showered the liquid on the demonstrators, forcing most to rush off to change their clothes.

Israeli officials say skunk bombs are a non-lethal method of dispersing Palestinians who throw stones and fight with Israelis guarding the construction of the barrier. Previously, Israeli security forces have fired tear-gas and rubber bullets at violent protesters.

Israeli officials say medical and legal authorities approved the use of the foul-smelling liquid.

A 10-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead when Israeli troops fired on demonstrators in Naalin on June 29. Israel's military is investigating the incident.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.