This story originally appeared MintPress News On October 5, 2022. Shared here with permission.
The Israeli army set up an automatic weapon at a smuggling-intensive checkpoint in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in September. While he was I mentioned at the beginning That the weapon will fire a wide range of projectiles, the military now says the device is only capable of firing sponge bullets. By reiterating that the remote-controlled rifle will not use live fire, the IDF hopes that this system will be used to test approved crowd dispersal methods. But critics maintain that the device is another example of Israel using Palestinians as guinea pigs so they can market military technology as field-tested to governments around the world.
The weapon was placed at a military checkpoint on Al-Shuhada Street, which was a vital center of Palestinian life in Hebron but is now known as a symbol of the Israeli occupation. After Israeli-American settler Baruch Goldstein shot 29 worshipers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994, Israel closed off the busy road and eventually announce It is a closed military zone where only residents can cross. According to Issa Amro, a resident of Hebron and founder of the Palestinian activist group Youth Against Settlements, the area houses 200 families and the checkpoint uses about 300 families daily.
The army says this weapon will be used to disperse riots, given the history of demonstrations at the checkpoint. But Amr says this area does not pose a security threat. “There is no security need to install this automatic weapon there,” he said. MintPress News. “There is no violence. The barrier is well protected by many fences, doors and gates.”
While the weapon will not fire live bullets, sponge-tipped bullets have been shown to be lethal, with several Palestinians seriously injured (such as Palestinians losing their eyes after being shot with sponge bullets) or killed by these bullets. The Shuhada Street Checkpoint was also a site Several killings of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli forces.
Amr, who passes through the barrier daily, is concerned about the accuracy and possible failure of this robotic technology. “I’m afraid every time I pass by [through this checkpoint] That this weapon is pointed at me, pointing at children or women. “People are terrified.”
The clever Israeli marksman who works with armies all over the world
The Palestinians argue that the remote-controlled gun has more evil intent than the military allows. “Israeli security companies use Palestinians as training tools,” Amr said. The Israeli army is practicing its new technology [on Palestinians] To check whether it works or not, and then sell it to other countries.”
Smart Shooter is the company behind the newly installed weapon. According to its website, the Israeli arms manufacturer uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision to turn conventional firearms into smart weapons. The company’s motto is proudOne shot, one hit”, indicating that the target detection capabilities are so accurate that they are able to hit moving objects with incredible accuracy.
Currently, Smart Shooter has several agreements with foreign armies all over the world and seems to be working on expanding its customer range. The company has contracts with the Israeli army PentagonThe US Marine CorpsThe Dutch armyThe Indian NavyThe German armyand its technology was determinant To train the NATO Defense Against Terrorism Action Program in the fight against small unmanned aerial vehicles in 2020. The Singapore Army is also conducting trials A smart shooting weapon.
Smart Shooter is showing off its technology in new countries as well, including at conferences in The United Arab EmiratesAnd the GreeceAnd the EnglandAnd the FranceAnd the SpainAnd the GermanyAnd the Poland. It also has upcoming exhibitions in Australia and the Czech Republic. In addition, the company Looking forward to employment Marketing Director to lead business development in India and Central Asia, indicating that it is looking to expand its influence in Asia.
Smart Shooter Executive management Consists of veterans of the Israeli arms industry. The company was founded by Michel Mor And the Avshalom Erlich, who previously worked for the Israeli arms company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Rafael created Israel’s notorious “Iron Dome” air defense system and developed missile technology that has displaced and killed countless Palestinians. Vice President of Business Development at Smart Shooter, Abraham MazurVice President of Research and Development, Sharon AloniShe worked for Elbit Systems and the Israeli Air Force before coming to the Smart Shooter. Elbit . Systems It is a major supplier of drones to the Israeli military, works with the Israel Police, and is one of the main suppliers of the Apartheid Wall’s electronic detection fencing system in the West Bank. Corporate Vice President and General Manager, US Operations, Scott ThompsonI worked in the Israel Aerospace Industries. and the brigade Nitzan AlonWho has served in the Israeli army for more than 30 years, is also a member of the company’s board of directors.
Palestine as a test laboratory for surveillance
Israeli technological advances have digitized its occupation of Palestine and turned the occupied territories into a testing ground for surveillance, spyware and weapons technologies.
This manifests itself in many ways, often in cooperation with private companies. The social media giant is working with the Israeli government to collect user data and Censoring Palestinian content. Digital monitoring is used at checkpoints and protests, but it has been greatly improved with facial recognition. Jerusalem Municipality installed About 1,000 cameras are capable of detecting objects, with 10% of the cameras connected to servers that analyze data. Face-scanning cameras are used in Hebron to identify Palestinians without verifying identity cards. It has been revealed that facial recognition technology in Israel has become frighteningly more miserable with news blue wolfA database that collects photos of Palestinian faces through smart phone technology. However, Blue Wolf is just one gear in the technological apartheid machine. The smartphone app stems from a larger project called Wolf Pack designed to profile every Palestinian in the West Bank with details including their family history, education and security rating. And the Pegasus program, created by the Israeli cybersecurity group NSO, is another example of Israel experimenting with surveillance technology on Palestinians before it was deployed worldwide. In 2021, devices of six Palestinian human rights defenders were exposed Hacked using Pegasus. at least today 45 countries It is known that they were subjected to penetrations of Pegasus.
Thanks to the seal of approval from the Israeli army, the country’s arms industry is better able to market its new products to other countries, precisely claiming that they have been “battle-tested”. For example, skunk water, a foul-smelling liquid sprayed on protesters, has been used as a crowd-dispersal tactic, First time use In the West Bank village of Beilin, Elbit’s Hermes-900 drone debuted during Israel’s war on Gaza in 2014. This tried-and-tested seal paved the way for Israel to become the world’s eighth largest arms exporter. Backed by Tel Aviv’s booming tech sector, the Israeli arms trade is set to become even more lucrative – all at the cost of Palestinian lives.