+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

The IDF's new tool for tracking Palestinian protesters: Drones

What has four propellors and a camera?

Participants in the weekly protests against the separation wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in were surprised Friday to find that the army was using a new tool to put down the demonstrations. For the first time, a small drone equipped with four propellors and a camera hovered above the protesters as they marched toward the wall and chanted slogans.

I asked the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit what the purpose of the drone was; I have yet to receive a response. The camera can be used for a number of purposes, although in light of past experience, it is likely to be used to assist soldiers in dispersing demonstrations or photographing protesters for arrests or to use in future trials. Bil’in photojournalist Haitham Khatib managed to snap a photo of the drone as it hovered above the protesters on Friday:

An IDF drone hovers above the West Bank village of Bil'in. (photo: Haitham Khatib)

An IDF drone hovers above the West Bank village of Bil’in. (photo: Haitham Khatib)

Photos taken at the demonstrations help the army arrest and interrogate protesters, especially young ones, are often used to incriminate protest organizers.

In April 2014, the army revealed yet another weapon for suppressing demonstration: a remote-controlled water canon that was installed atop the separation wall in Bethlehem, which allows the tracking and dispersal of protesters without the presence of soldiers.

Related:
Israeli army installs remote-controlled weapon atop separation wall
‘Israel increasing use of live fire at West Bank protests’
Bil’in: Photographing a decade of popular struggle

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

Newsletter banner

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Mitch

      What’s wrong with drones? They’re less intrusive and abusive than troops.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Um, read the article. Drones help the troops and the courts abuse people engaging in civil protest. And do it with spiffy up to date stealth technology. That you don’t get that or pretend not to makes Haggai’s point for him. Typical Israeli: “Hey what’s the problem?”

        Reply to Comment
        • Wedding Singer

          So stupid. Is Haggai going to write an article about how the army uses computers or maybe food to feed soldiers?
          This technology reduces friction and saves lives.

          Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          No fair… any counter measure which Israel takes about anything is no fair… no fair… no fair. Why can’t those eeeeeevil Israeli Jews be fair????

          Reply to Comment
        • Mars Mercury

          Notice the hate speech by Ben
          “Typical Israeli…..”
          Which of course he will deny saying.

          Reply to Comment