Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Israel's joystick killers

Jonathan Cook's latest article, Remote-Controlled Killing, provides a chilling insight into the surveillance and murder of Palestinians, notably in siege-enforced Gaza, by joystick-wielding Israeli soldiers, most of them, even more disturbingly, young females.

It also offers a nightmarish glimpse into the future and wider application of high-tech weaponry.

Spot and Shoot - or Sentry Tech, to give it it's full title - the Guardium armoured robot-car and Heron TP drones are among the growing number of remote-controlled weapons systems being advanced by Israeli arms companies, with Gaza, in particular, being used as an experimental laboratory to test their effectiveness.

As Cook notes:
"Spot and Shoot, as it is called by the Israeli military, may look like a video game but the figures on the screen are real people -- Palestinians in Gaza -- who can be killed with the press of a button on the joystick.

The female soldiers, located far away in an operations room, are responsible for aiming and firing remote-controlled machine-guns mounted on watch-towers every few hundred metres along an electronic fence that surrounds Gaza.

The system is one of the latest “remote killing” devices developed by Israel’s Rafael armaments company, the former weapons research division of the Israeli army and now a separate governmental firm.

According to Giora Katz, Rafael’s vice-president, remote-controlled military hardware such as Spot and Shoot is the face of the future. He expects that within a decade at least a third of the machines used by the Israeli army to control land, air and sea will be unmanned."

Beyond Cook's valiant and informative piece, how much serious information on Israel's robotic-killing technology are we getting from our 'on-the-ground' media?

From the developers of Spot and Shoot, Israel's Rafael company, to Israel's wider weapons suppliers, such as Raytheon and EDO, most 'defence' correspondents have little or nothing to say about such weaponry and its place within Israel's conflict-dependent economy.

All weapons, of course, are made to kill and maim. But there seems an added depravity to this kind of technology in its application to Gaza as a concentration camp-type control and murder system.


1 comment:

Bert Gedin said...

Remote-controlled Killing - very apt that the Israelis should be developing, and using, such methods. People, of the occupied territories, as 'targets' in unfeeling 'video games', those 'targets' often being civilians of all ages. Technically,
the Israelis are very skillful, put
to use in perpetual warfare, while,
hypocritically, speaking, endlessly, of peace. Ethically, standards of the Israeli state are