[News] Israeli Video Games in Gaza - Minimal Collateral Damage

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 23 12:27:51 EDT 2011


http://www.counterpunch.org/weir08232011.html

August 23, 2011


"Minimal Collateral Damage"


Israeli Video Games in Gaza

By ALISON WEIR

He looks at the camera with bright eyes and the 
beginning of a smile, wearing a miniature dark 
blue zipper sweatshirt, the cuffs folded up a bit to make it fit.

I can imagine his mother dressing him that 
morning, making sure he would be warm enough. I 
wonder if she’s the one who took the picture. 
Someone has written on the photo “kisses.”

It’s not 
<http://ifamericansknew.org/images/IslamQuraiqe2.jpg>a 
formal picture. He’s outside on a sunny day. It 
looks like he was probably moving when the 
picture was snapped; his arms seem to be swinging 
a little. As with most almost two-year-olds, I 
suspect it was hard to get him to stay still long enough for a photo.

It’s a happy picture, the kind that makes you 
smile; perhaps it reminds you of funny, energetic 
little children you know or remember.

Until you see the next picture. It was taken on 
his second birthday. His name was Islam Quraiqe'.

Death from a drone strike is not pretty. The 
small body is charred, ripped apart; internal 
organs are 
<http://ifamericansknew.org/images/IslamQuraiqe2killed.jpg>pouring out.

He had been riding with his father and uncle on a 
motorcycle in Gaza when 
<http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7662:iof-continue-their-offensive-on-the-gaza-strip6-palestinians-killed-and-9-others-wounded-&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194>the 
missile hit them. His 29-year-old father, a 
member of the Palestinian resistance, and 
32-year-old uncle physician were also killed. 
Five bystanders, including a woman, were injured.

The missile was fired remotely by an Israeli 
sitting in front of a video screen and operating 
one of the many drones that periodically fly over 
Gaza and shoot Palestinians like fish in a 
fishbowl. The operators are 
<http://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-video-game-killing-technology/8919>usually 
female, the preferred group for this kind of desk job.

The drones, which look like small, pilotless 
jets, are equipped with 
<http://science.howstuffworks.com/predator.htm>precision-guided missiles.

Those operating them receive real-time video 
feeds from sensors located on the drone: a color 
nose camera, a TV lens, an infrared camera for 
low light and night, and a synthetic radar for 
looking through smoke, clouds or haze. The 
cameras produce 
<http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=30607>full motion 
video as well as still frame radar images.

Numerous articles extol the virtues of Israeli 
drones. An 
<http://www.weeklyblitz.net/1067/unmanned-aerial-vehicles-in-the-service-of>August 
17th article by David Rodman reports: “The Israel 
Air Force (IAF) has a rich history of employing 
unmanned aerial vehicles in battle with excellent 
results.” Rodman crows that with the possible 
exception of the United States, “Israel is the 
country most closely identified with [drone] 
operations in the post-World War II period.”

Islam was the second two-year-old to be killed by Israeli forces in two days.

The 
<http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7660:iof-escalate-attacks-against-the-gaza-stripsecretary-general-and-4-leaders-of-prc-and-a-child-extra-judicially-executed-and-several-civilian-targets-bombarded-&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194>first 
was killed by an Israeli “precision” rocket the 
day before. The boy’s name was Malek Sha’at. His 
father was also killed. The only picture 
available online is of 
<http://occupiedpalestine.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/gaza-funeral-aug-19-1.jpg?w=588&h=427>a 
small shrouded body.

An <http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=30607>article by 
reporter Aaron Klein proclaims that Israeli 
weapons are “capable of taking out stationary and 
moving targets with minimal collateral damage.”

Perhaps Klein is right. Two years of life is decidedly minimal. Intolerably so.

Context

During this period (August 18-20, 2011) Israeli 
forces 
<http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7662:iof-continue-their-offensive-on-the-gaza-strip6-palestinians-killed-and-9-others-wounded-&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194>killed 
14 Palestinians including at least one other 
child, a 13-year-old, and injured at least 50, 
nine of them children. Gazan resistance forces 
<http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=415453>killed 
one Israeli and injured about 20 . Gazan 
hospitals, hard hit by the years-long Israeli 
siege, report that they have run out of 150 
medicines and 160 types of medical equipment 
z9<http://www.israel-palestinenews.org/2011/08/gaza-out-of-150-medicines-and-160-types.html>http://www.israel-palestinenews.org/2011/08/gaza-out-of-150-medicines-and-160-types.html 
).

The Israeli assaults were allegedly triggered by 
attacks on Thursday, August 18th, by unknown 
gunmen on the Egyptian border with Israel that 
killed 
<http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/19/world/la-fg-israel-attacks-20110819>eight 
Israelis. Israeli forces killed the attackers in 
Eilat, also shooting dead, according to the BBC, 
five Egyptian policemen. The Israeli Defense 
Minister told Egypt afterwards that 
“<http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=414761>Israel 
regrets the deaths.”

There is no evidence connecting Gazan resistance 
groups to the attack, and they 
have<http://imeu.net/news/article0021365.shtml> 
denied responsibility for it. Hamas itself had 
maintained a unilateral de facto ceasefire 
<http://imeu.net/news/article0021365.shtml>since 
2009(some independent resistance groups, however, 
refused to take part in this truce and continued 
to launch rockets in response to Israeli 
actions). Groups in Egypt have periodically 
<http://english.aljazeera.net/video/middleeast/2011/07/2011729143340707514.html>taken 
actions opposing Israel. Egyptian authorities say 
they have identified 
<http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/488511>three 
of the attackers, who appear to have been based 
in the Sinai, there are 
<http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/08/20/shabak-blames-idf-for-eilat-terror-attack/>reports 
that Israeli intelligence warned of the attack 
ahead of time, and there is mounting information 
suggesting that the attackers may have been 
<http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m80723&hd=&size=1&l=e>Egyptian, not Gazan.

While many reports describe the Israeli actions 
as retaliatory, Israeli attacks on Gaza occur 
regularly and were already 
<http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/201182272758210801.html>ongoing 
before the Eilat attack. Two days earlier, on 
Tuesday, an 
<http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=413468>Israeli 
air strike killed a 29-year-old Palestinian man 
in the morning, and Israeli ground soldiers 
<http://imemc.org/article/61850>killed a disabled 
teenager later in the day. The youth was shot 
more than 10 times, mostly in the head. On 
Wednesday night there were more Israeli air 
attacks throughout Gaza. (The LA Times called 
this a period of “relative calm.”) 
Some<http://wallwritings.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/avnery-reveals-the-return-of-the-generals/> 
analysts suggest that the recent Israeli 
escalation against Gaza may have been prompted, 
at least in part, by a Netanyahu desire to 
deflect energy from the massive social protests 
that have been enveloping Israel recently.

The death toll among Gazans and Israelis has been 
notably disproportionate. In Israel’s Dec-Jan 
2008-09 “Cast Lead” assault, Israeli forces 
killed approximately 
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0WKVhIpgr4&feature=youtu.be>1,387 
Gazans , while resistance forces 
<http://ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/gazafactsheet.html>killed 
nine Israelis. In the preceding year Israeli 
forces killed 713 Gazans; Gazan resistance 
fighters 
<http://ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/gazafactsheet.html>killed 
eight Israelis. Since “Cast Lead” through the end 
of July of this year, Israeli forces killed 
approximately 200 Gazans; Palestinian resistance 
groups killed approximately 
<http://imeu.net/news/article0021365.shtml>five Israelis.

Most of Gaza’s residents are refugee families who 
were forcibly pushed out by Israel in its 1947-49 
founding war, in which non-Jews, who originally 
made up over 70 percent of the inhabitants, were 
<http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html>expelled.

In violation of international law, they have been 
prohibited from returning to their homes and have 
lived under crippling Israeli occupation for 
decades. Palestinian land is continually 
confiscated by Israel for Jewish-only use. A 
popular uprising against Israeli occupation began in the fall of 2000.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak 
said 
<http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4111951,00.html>yesterday: 
“Those who operate against us will be 
decapitated.” That night at least 100 Israeli 
military vehicles stormed into the West Bank city 
of Hebron, closing the city off for hours and 
rounding up more than 50 Palestinians, including 
several academics and members of charitable associations.

On Saturday, August 20th, Israeli Aerospace 
Industries proudly unveiled its latest drone, 
known as the 
“<http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-aerospace-industries-unveils-unmanned-aircraft-ghost-1.379853>GHOST,” 
which the company announced, “is at the forefront 
of technology thanks to years of experience and 
knowledge acquired in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Israel partisan and author 
<http://www.weeklyblitz.net/1067/unmanned-aerial-vehicles-in-the-service-of>David 
Rodman reports that Israeli drones “played a 
substantial part” in Israel’s 1982 Lebanon war 
(in which Israeli forces killed at least 
<http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-8077.html>17,825 
Lebanese, compared to 
<http://www.enotes.com/topic/1982_Lebanon_War>344 
Israelis killed by the Lebanese resistance) and 
that their use in what he acknowledges in 
profound understatement were “asymmetric 
conflicts” – the 2006 Second Lebanon war (Israeli 
forces killed at least 
<http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2007/09/05/why-they-died-0>1,125 
Lebanese , almost all civilians, 
<http://www.haaretz.com/news/amnesty-israel-committed-war-crimes-in-lebanon-campaign-1.195683>a 
third of them children; Lebanese resistance 
forces killed 164 Israelis, 
about<http://www.knesset.gov.il/lexicon/eng/Lebanon_war2_eng.htm> 
three-quarters of them soldiers and the 2008–2009 
Cast Lead operation – “sparked renewed global 
interest in Israeli drone operations.”

Rodman<http://www.weeklyblitz.net/1067/unmanned-aerial-vehicles-in-the-service-of> 
states: “In terms of the technological 
sophistication of its UAV force, Israel is 
unquestionably well ahead of the pack. Only the 
United States is in the same league.”

Alison Weir is president of the 
<http://Councilforthenationalinterest.org>Council 
for the National Interest and executive director 
of <http://ifamericansknew.org/>If Americans 
Knew. She can be reached at 
<mailto:contact at ifamericansknew.org>contact at ifamericansknew.org.




Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

www.Freedomarchives.org  
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20110823/f012be08/attachment.html>


More information about the News mailing list