IOF installs remote-control crowd dispersal system in Al-Khalil
Haaretz says the IOF installed a new system in an occupation checkpoint at the city of Al-Khalil, capable of firing sponge-tipped bullets.
In yet another way to violate the privacy of Palestinians through surveillance, the Israeli occupation forces installed a remotely-controlled system for crowd dispersal in the city of Al-Khalil in the occupied West Bank, which is able to fire stun grenades, tear gas, and sponge-tipped bullets, Israeli news website Haaretz reported.
According to the news website, "The system, still in its pilot stage, was installed on Shuhada Street, over a roadblock."
Haaretz cited the IOF as saying that "it is examining the possibility of using the system for deploying approved methods of crowd dispersal," claiming that the system "does not include the firing of live bullets."
The IOF claimed that "in its pilot stage, the system will be using only sponge-tipped bullets, despite several incidents in which sponge-tipped bullets have caused serious injuries in the West Bank," as per the news website.
According to Haaretz, the system "was created by Smart Shooter, a company that designs systems to follow and lock in on targets using image processing based on artificial intelligence. It prides itself on its accuracy in hitting targets marked by its system, which can be controlled remotely."
The company behind this AI guided gun installed on the top of an Israeli checkpoint is SmartShooter.— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) September 24, 2022
The CEO of the company proudly boasts, "It is like we are inventing the smartphone for the army world."
Human rights activist, Issa Amro, indicated that "The system was placed in the center of a heavily populated area, with hundreds of people passing by," warning that "Any failure of this technology could impact many people."
"I see this as part of a transition from human to technological control. We as Palestinians have become an object of experimenting and training for Israel’s military hi-tech industry, which is not accountable for anything it does," Amro explained.
Blue Wolf: Israeli espionage technology against Palestinians
It is noteworthy that the IOF has been conducting broad surveillance efforts in the occupied West Bank, according to an Israeli occupation soldier working on espionage programs, to monitor Palestinians by integrating facial recognition with a growing network of cameras and smartphones, The Washington Post had said in a report last year.
The surveillance program, put into action three years ago, involves in part a smartphone technology called Blue Wolf that captures photos of Palestinians' faces and matches them to a database of images so extensive that one former occupation soldier described it as the army's secret "Facebook for Palestinians."
The phone app flashes in different colors; yellow, red, and green to alert soldiers if a person is to be detained, arrested, or left alone, respectively.
To build Blue Wolf's database, soldiers competed last year in photographing Palestinians, including children and the elderly.
The total number of people photographed is unclear, but it is estimated to be in the thousands, and the unit that collects the most pictures receives prizes.
In addition to Blue Wolf, the Israeli occupation has installed face-scanning cameras in Al-Khalil to help soldiers at checkpoints identify Palestinians before they even present their ID cards.
The Washington Post also quoted an Israeli occupation soldier as saying a wider network of closed-circuit television cameras, dubbed "Hebron Smart City," provides real-time monitoring of the city’s population and can sometimes see into private homes in a live broadcast.
In parallel with Blue Wolf, the Israeli occupation has developed, according to the newspaper, a special application, dubbed"White Wolf, which Israeli settlers can use to determine "the identity of Palestinians even before showing their IDs."
It is noteworthy that in 2018, Israeli occupation forces started using drones that launch tear gas at Gazans, and installed a system that allows the firing of live ammunition from a distance.
Read more: Another Israeli tool to spy on Palestinians?