Remote-controlled killing

It takes just a week to train young Israeli women in the latest form of remote killing. Haaretz reports: “When the training program for the operators was being developed, the IDF wanted to learn from the experience of another country’s army, but couldn’t find a force doing anything similar.”

Jonathan Cook writes:

It is called Spot and Shoot. Operators sit in front of a TV monitor from which they can control the action with a PlayStation-style joystick.

The aim: to kill terrorists.

Played by: young women serving in the Israeli army.

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.

The demand for such devices, the Israeli army admits, has been partly fuelled by a combination of declining recruitment levels and a population less ready to risk death in combat.

Oren Berebbi, head of its technology branch, recently told an American newspaper: “We’re trying to get to unmanned vehicles everywhere on the battlefield … We can do more and more missions without putting a soldier at risk.”

Rapid progress with the technology has raised alarm at the United Nations. Philip Alston, its special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, warned last month of the danger that a “PlayStation mentality to killing” could quickly emerge.

According to analysts, however, Israel is unlikely to turn its back on hardware that it has been at the forefront of developing – using the occupied Palestinian territories, and especially Gaza, as testing laboratories.

Remotely controlled weapons systems are in high demand from repressive regimes and the burgeoning homeland security industries around the globe.

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3 thoughts on “Remote-controlled killing

  1. Ian Arbuckle

    Despite the truth that there can be no justification for terrorism, I’ve never heard a more reasonable rationalization for a broad application of terrorism as a response. After having stolen the Palestinians’ land once Israel is now using remote controlled robotic killing machines to keep Palestinians out of their own fields in Gaza, which they call a military buffer zone and so they maintain their military, psychological, economic tyranny on Gaza and its 1.5 million Palestinian people, bottled up in an open prison.

    No doubt, America and Europe are the problem here because they justify this behaviour of the Zionist criminals, calling Hamas a terrorist organization without recognising the terrorism of the Zionist tyrants. The irony of making the liar and war criminal Tony Blair the representative of the quartet goes way beyond cynicism.

    Israel has now mechanized state terrorism to the extent that it has become mechanically dispensed by remote military technicians implementing the details of purely illegal racist decisions of the fascist Zionist elite, who are kept in their position of power by either the conscious will of like minded racists or lack of human moral and dignity of the ordinary Israeli citizens.

    So how and at what level does one interdict the killing machine when, from the largest macro international level such as UN Security Council resolutions, down to the smallest micro such as pressure on the brainwashed consciences of individual citizens in Israeli society, does not work?

    When if not here and now is the use of violence justified? And can any Israeli be considered “innocent”, while perpetuating this travesty? They say violence begets violence, and this is the justification for a passive response. But I would ask in that case, when and how should these Zionist criminals get their just deserts or at a minimum be interdicted from continuing their tyranny and forced to do restoration and compensate their victims?

    We are all Palestinians now!

  2. Christopher Hoare

    When do we hear from the pundits who made a living from deploring the actions of Communist border guards in East Germany, Hungary, etc for shooting unarmed civilians attempting to escape to the West? Israel has only one industry — the manufacture of killing machines — as it has only one political voice, the defence of extrajudicial murder and extra-legal occupation of someone else’s land.

    All of these actions and weapons are a threat to the whole world’s people, because they are available to every tyrant who cannot command a human backing.

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