[News] Israeli Video Games in Gaza - Minimal Collateral Damage
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 23 12:27:51 EDT 2011
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 shes the one who took the picture.
Someone has written on the photo kisses.
formal picture. Hes 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.
Its 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
He had been riding with his father and uncle on a
motorcycle in Gaza when
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
female, the preferred group for this kind of desk job.
The drones, which look like small, pilotless
jets, are equipped with
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
video as well as still frame radar images.
Numerous articles extol the virtues of Israeli
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.
was killed by an Israeli precision rocket the
day before. The boys name was Malek Shaat. His
father was also killed. The only picture
available online is of
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.
During this period (August 18-20, 2011) Israeli
14 Palestinians including at least one other
child, a 13-year-old, and injured at least 50,
nine of them children. Gazan resistance forces
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
The Israeli assaults were allegedly triggered by
attacks on Thursday, August 18th, by unknown
gunmen on the Egyptian border with Israel that
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
regrets the deaths.
There is no evidence connecting Gazan resistance
groups to the attack, and they
denied responsibility for it. Hamas itself had
maintained a unilateral de facto ceasefire
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
actions opposing Israel. Egyptian authorities say
they have identified
of the attackers, who appear to have been based
in the Sinai, there are
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
before the Eilat attack. Two days earlier, on
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.)
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 Israels Dec-Jan
2008-09 Cast Lead assault, Israeli forces
Gazans , while resistance forces
nine Israelis. In the preceding year Israeli
forces killed 713 Gazans; Gazan resistance
eight Israelis. Since Cast Lead through the end
of July of this year, Israeli forces killed
approximately 200 Gazans; Palestinian resistance
groups killed approximately
Most of Gazas 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
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
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
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
Rodman reports that Israeli drones played a
substantial part in Israels 1982 Lebanon war
(in which Israeli forces killed at least
Lebanese, compared to
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
Lebanese , almost all civilians,
third of them children; Lebanese resistance
forces killed 164 Israelis,
three-quarters of them soldiers and the 20082009
Cast Lead operation sparked renewed global
interest in Israeli drone operations.
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
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.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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