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Female IDF Drone Jockeys Kill Gazans Remotely

In 2008, the IDF created a new weapon (Hebrew) in its arsenal and trained a new group of fighters to use it.  It was a remote-operated gun mounted on an IDF security tower along the Gaza border.  The guns are operated by female IDF soldiers trained, like drone jockeys, to monitor the border area by video feed and shoot to kill pretty much anything that moves there.

idf remote control gun

IDF remote control gun on Gaza border

While I’m not an expert in military weaponry, this strikes me as a new development in the lethality of the IDF.  Now, it doesn’t even need shooters on the ground to patrol the border and kill in face-to-face situations.  It can all be done by remote control.  It’s drone warfare transitioning to the ground.

This begs the question: how long will it be before Israel can delegate all its fighting to machines?  Then it can maintain the Occupation by remote control and even fight its wars against Hezbollah and Hamas from computer screens.  No, or hardly any soldiers need be killed at all.  It’s a perfect example of taking the fight to the enemy, while suffering no casualties yourself.

In 2010, the IDF released the above “promotional video” which can undoubtedly be used to sell the weapon to suitably dodgy clients like Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda or Azerbaijan (all major Israeli weapons customers with suspect human rights records). It’s a bit queasy to use video of an actual human being killed with actual bullets to sell military products. But not above the IDF I’m sure. You won’t see video of the gun killing Gaza civilians (though this is a common phenomenon along this stretch of border). That wouldn’t provide the needed boost to Israeli morale or its export industry.

IDF remote control gunner

IDF remote control gunner

This Ynet story tells us that the IDF drone jockey who played such a key role in the ‘kill’ received a letter of commendation from President Shimon Peres himself.

The Haaretz article profiling the remote control weapon (linked above) notes the stress under which the women are placed who operate it, but says they’ve proven up to the task:

The psychic pressure is great, but the IDF claims that all the women chosen for the task have stood the test.

IDF drone gun Bethlehem

Israel’s drone gun atop Bethlehem Separation Wall

I tell you, it’s one of the measures of feminist liberation that Israel has brought to western civilization that now, not only men can kill by remote control, but women can too. Israel must be proud.

972 Magazine reports that a version of the weapon has been mounted on the Separation Wall in Bethlehem. This weapon will “only” fire toxic Skunk ooze and tear gas at protesters who frequent this portion of the Wall for demonstrations. The IDF reassures us that the gun will not fire live ammunition. To which I would add “yet.”

The reason the drone gun fires live ammunition in Gaza is because the human value of Gazan life is diminished. By choosing Islamists like Hamas to rule them, they’ve become persona non grata with western governments and so their lives may be forfeited with little cost. The West Bank is different since it’s ruled by the PA. Nor are there many terror attacks emanating from there. Lives in the West Bank have slightly more value and there is a somewhat greater cost to Israel for taking them. But it’s only a matter of time before Israel automates every aspect of the Occupation that it possibly can.

H/t to Max Blumenthal for noting the documentary, To See If I’m Smiling, which profiles the IDF’s women warriors, including those portrayed here.

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{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Shoshana April 20, 2014, 4:42 AM

    “It’s a perfect example of taking the fight to the enemy, while suffering no casualties yourself.”

    Win, win. No?

    • Richard Silverstein April 20, 2014, 5:42 PM

      @ Shoshana: I’ve always said that right-wingers have no sense of irony. My statement was ironic & you took it at face value.

      Killing people including civilians by remote control is brutish & horrifying. It’s quite telling that you see it as a “win-win.”

  • Nonsense April 20, 2014, 10:55 AM

    “it’s a perfect example of taking the fight to the enemy, while suffering no casualties yourself.”

    based on the above it’s obvious that your issue is that no Israeli casualties will be caused as well..You have no problem with the riots that cause Israel to develop such a system, with hostilities with IED’s exploding and amputating soldiers as a result. But to think that Israel will use it’s advantage to minimize the exposure of its soldiers, oy vey zmir.

    P.S criticism on drone systems operations coming from an American who’s president uses drones in a higher capacity then ever before further away from US borders then ever before without the criticism being directed at his own president = Hypocrisy.

    • Richard Silverstein April 20, 2014, 5:48 PM

      @ Nonsense: I have “no problem” with legitimate protests in which Palestinians express their outrage against Israel’s illegal Occupation. Israel has a very simple way of ending these protests: recognizing Palestine & returning conquered territory to it. As long as it doesn’t do so, Palestinians have every right to protest. That they do so doesn’t grant Israel the right to become a brutish dictatorial occupation regime as it has.

      IEDs on the West Bank? What are you smokin’? Are you confusing the West Bank with Afghanistan??

      Your closing paragraph is a non sequitur, off-topic and specifically violates a comment rule that directs commenters to confine themselves to debating the Israel-Palestine conflict unless the post I wrote goes beyond that reference.

      Your claim of ‘hypocrisy’ would be funny if it weren’t that your ignorance led you to make such a foolish claim. If you’d bother to do even a minimal amount of research you’d know I’ve written thousands of words condemning U.S. drone policy and explaining how closely aligned it is with Israel’s counter-terror policies.

      • Nonsense April 20, 2014, 6:11 PM

        IED’s in the west bank are a matter of time. on the Gzaa border it happend quite frequently almost daily with the latest occurrence being yesterday. http://alturl.com/8n7z5

        The only reason it doesn’t happen yet in the west bank is the the action taken by the IDF.

        Rock throwing & Molotov cocktails can be as deadly as IED’s. Not to mention use of firearms.

        • Jafar Siddiqui April 20, 2014, 9:55 PM

          Hey Nonsense. When people agressively occupy a land where they are not wanted and when the occupied people have some possibility of response, it is entirely possible that the resistance against Israel will grow in lethality just as Israel’s genocidal occupation has done.

          The term “Rock-throwing” has been invented to then justify shoot-to-kill responses. If it were termed as “stone-throwing” such as the stones the Orthodox Jews throw at Shabbat-breakers, it ceases to justify murder as a response. Before you tell me how a “Rock” can do such terrible damage, figure out how large a rock that would have to be and then go out there and try to thow one of that size, to see how far you can throw it. THEN tell me how justifed is murder as a response.

          Same with Molotov cocktails (when was the last time these were thrown by Palestinians?). Can’t throw them very far and they can be stopped by using REAL rubber bullets, not the rubber-coated, steel projectiles deliberately aimed at heads.

          If the only way Israel and its Jews can live on the land is by genocide and oppression, ho9w long do you think such a hyper-vigilant regime and its people can last? 100 years? 200? Maybe 400 years, like the White South Africans? Inevitably, it is destined to end and perhaps with catastrophic results and people like you can continue to defend it as blindly as you do.
          Or, better people can look for ways to start the moves towards joint lives with Palestinians in the same land and live happily ever after.

          You can say Paletsinains hate “us” too much to live with “us”, but Palestinians (Muslims and Christians) have a stronger argument that it is the Jews who live on Hate and genocide. I suggest to you that the cycle can only be broken by the oppressor…in a sincere manner, not by playing at “negotiating” games while continuing slaughter and dispossession.

          • Gal April 21, 2014, 12:16 AM

            [comment deleted--hasbara propaganda and anti-Palestinian racism violate comment rules]

          • Gal April 21, 2014, 12:36 AM

            i don’t believe i wrote something racist or not true but i respect the rules of this blog.

          • Richard Silverstein April 21, 2014, 12:57 AM

            I found your comment completely lacking in balance or historical context. Blaming the other guy and saying everything’s his fault is wrong. I don’t like incendiary comments like that one.

          • Nonsense April 21, 2014, 5:24 AM

            Mr. Siddiqui

            I’ll respond to one aspect of your comment, and that is the “live with us” aspect of the matter.
            I’m not sure you ever heard the name of Judah Leon Magnes. Magnes along with Martin Buber was the founder of Brit Shalom. Brit Shalom believed in a peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews. BS thought the such is to be achieved by renunciation of the Zionist aim of creating a Jewish state and supported the establishment of a bi-national state where Jews and Arabs would have equal rights.

            As part of the Jewish debate on the future of the state (we are talking pre 1948) BS received a mandate from the Jewish leadership to negotiate with the Palestinians Leadership such a solution. BS approached the grand Mufti of Jerusalem and offered him their vision. Part of the vision was ensuring that the Arabs will always be a majority in the future state. By Law. The grand Mufti of Jerusalem turned them down.

            To be honest, i don’t think that BS ever had the political power to carry their vision within the Jewish community, but since the Mufti refused they never had to put it to the test.

            So…. you can talk to me all you want about living together. Your side choose not to.

          • Jafar Siddiqui April 21, 2014, 8:50 AM

            Nonsense: Let’s get a few things clear.
            I am neither Palestinian nor Arab so, “My side” had nothing to do with any decisions regarding living or not living, together with Jews in Israel. Unless, of course, you regard this entire Israel-Palestinian situation as an existential “War!” between Jews and Muslims, which would be as paranoid as it would be daft.

            I wonder how the world (Jewish history revisers) can get rid of the “Grand Mufti of Jerusalem” straw man? This fellow was the master of his own dunghill, with no command influence over anyone outside of his mosque. Yet the revisers of history recount his words and actions as if they represented ALL the Paletsinians or, as if he were the king of Palestine. Nobody EVER takes the misguided words or actions of Jewish “Leaders” as if they represented the policies of the entire body of Israeli Jews; The Chief Rabbi (Grand Mufti?) of the IDF issued a memeo to kill every Palestinian man, woman and child and anyone who failed to do so, would be damned forever. Does “Your side” take this to represent the views of all Jews?

            “Your side” (Jews) have a choice; they can continue to live in fortress Israel in a world that is getting more and more lethal with a growing array of opposition and thus, face a defniite prospect of a violent end…at some future point. Or, “Your side” (Jews) can exploit the good side of human nature and start a conversation with ALL Palestinian Christians and Muslims, on how everyone can live and prosper together as equals on the same land. But this time, “Your side” (Jews) should have a sincere conversation, not one where there are meetings around a table while simultaneously, Palestinians are being killed and their properties taken.

            Switzerland is a prime example of how FOUR different people slaughtered each other for decades and then, finally arrived at a modus vivendi where they live in ONE country and thrive and prosper…in spite of their local ethnic frictions.

            Of course, there is the third choice; “Your side” (Jews) can complete their genocide of the Christian and Muslim Palestinians, like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the americas and the problem is solved; no more people to need to negotiate with and “your side” can write a new history of how the Palestinians forced “your side” (Jews) to kill every single Palestinian and how you can never forgive the Palestinians for what they made “Your side” do.

          • Nonsense April 21, 2014, 11:59 AM

            Mr. Siddiqui

            I appreciate the lengthy response. Interesting things.
            Since you think the Mufti was a straw-man and didn’t represent anyone outside his devout believers flock then who did represent the Palestinians before 1948 ? And far more important, who represents them now ? is it the corrupt Fatah who denies election ? Is it the ideologist Hamas ? Maybe the salafist movement forming in the west bank and Gaza? who do we need to talk to ?

            Recognizing that would be the first step. The second step is finding a mutual base for residing together in that part of the world. I see less problems on “my side” after all we do have a big Arab Minority who are Israeli citizens and enjoy equal civilian rights. I understand it is not a perfect corporation but it is a base for mutual life. With the other side…one thing in common runs through the last 130 years, The Arabs at large refuse to recognize independent Jewish life in that region that was emphasis by the Arab league few weeks ago.
            The reason’s for that are theological and frankly i don’t see a solution to that problem. needless to say that few attempts were made by Arab leaders to solve that theological issue. Saddat was murdered because of it.
            http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.582110

            It’s obvious that there is no room for two states west of the Jordan river, eventually there will be a one state i fear however that since the cultural differences are so big between the group of people involved there will be a lot of bloodshed on both sides before we get there, it will not happen in our life time.

          • Jafar Siddiqui April 22, 2014, 10:29 AM

            Nonsense.
            I guess your answer informs us as to why peace is not going to happen with the prevailing attitudes of pinning the blame on the Palestinians. Let’s see about your response, which to me, smell of “superior race” attitudes that Jews of all people, should not be clinging to….

            1. “The European Colonialism made things a bit better”. you may perhaps be the only Jew (I assume you are one) who thinks life under the Europeans was better for the Jews, than under Muslims. I guess you missed out on the Shoah and the hundreds of Pogroms (not an Arabic word) happened during the good old days of “European Colonialism”. You will probably not be convinced by reading books by Muslims so, perhaps you should read a couple of books by Rabbi Reuven Firestone, to see what life was like under Muslims. Yes, non-Muslims paid a Jiziya (tax), but non-Muslims were exempt from the duties shouldered by Muslims, such as defense etc., Jews were highly regarded and had the freedom to move up in the administration of kingdoms. Of course, life was not without sectarian conflict, it never is. We could of course, match slaughter for slaughter by Jews (of Muslims), but I would prefer not to dive into that sewer with you.

            2. Nice of you to say Muslims aren’t in the Israeli military because they don’t want to but you should talk to some Arab residents, they will tell you how Israel implements its policies towards its own Arabs (forget about those in Occupied Territories).

            3. Israel even prevents its Arabs from getting the same childcare that Jews get and no, nobody wants to live in squalor because of “culture” that is a dismissive, demeaning and patronizing view. Even if Arabs want to live with open sewers, Israel can at least provide the same transportation to Arab villages, as it does to Jewish ones.

            4. Marrying someone from the Occupied Territories and bringing her or him “home” to Israel is NOT “Right of Return”, it is simply a right of citizenship that is provided to Jews, but not to Arabs…pure racism. If someone is foolish enough to have four wives and it is lawful in Israel, then nobody should have the right to deny them entry and life in Israel as free and equal citizens. Dancing around this as if to lay blame (again) on Arabs will not change this.

            5. Why should Hamas or anyone else, deal with an Israeli-imposed governance like Fatah?
            Have you ever read what Hamas has said about Israel or, are you satisfied with the reconstituted reportage that Israel gets about anyone who opposes Israel?
            Israel’s position is that Hamas should agree to all “agreements made between Israel and the bought-and-paid-for “representatives”, renounce al violence, accept Israel and THEN they will talk with Hamas. Hamas has said it will not renounce or recognize anything but will negotiate with Israel under a ceasefire…ceasefires with Hamas in the past, were ALWAYS broken by Israel.
            Besides, if Israel will not negotiate with its enemies, who will it negotiate with and for what?

            A two-state “solution” is doomed before ink dries on paper. Water alone, will destroy any two-state “solution”.
            Right of Return cannot be permitted to one population (Jews) and denied to the other (Christians and Muslims). ROR should probably be implemented on a population-proportionate basis with annual caps.
            Israel has YET to show it can be trusted to manage another faith’s properties. Jerusalem should be run by a tripartite administration.
            Integration should start immediately, I talked about this in an article on my blog some time ago. You might want to read at least, it closing paragraphs. http://penjihad.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/israel-or-palestine-my-home/#more-715

      • Shoshana April 20, 2014, 11:41 PM

        “Killing people including civilians by remote control is brutish & horrifying”

        And a remotely detonated IED is what?

        • Richard Silverstein April 21, 2014, 12:31 AM

          @ Shoshana: Are you claiming Palestinians have killed anyone with an IED lately?? If so, I’d sure like to see proof of that. Or maybe you’re breaking a big new story never reported till now?

          • Shoshana April 21, 2014, 4:37 AM

            “Shoshana: Are you claiming Palestinians have killed anyone with an IED lately?”

            No. They just tried to kill soldiers a few short months ago.

            http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/176765#.U1UCV1fQ6XY

          • Richard Silverstein April 21, 2014, 7:24 PM

            You claimed in your previous comment that they had killed Israelis with IEDs. Now you’re conceding that they didn’t. Also good to know your primary source is Arutz 7, settler media. I have absolutely no qualms now about having banned you.

      • Sara April 21, 2014, 8:39 PM

        Richard imagine that Yemen was next door. Imagine that Syria was next door. I remember when I spent time on a kibbutz in the 90’s, you could hear the fighting and the gunfire echoing in the distance. Think if the Israeli towns near the northern border and tucking in your kids at night, when Al-Qaeda rebel groups are operating in towns on the other side literally a couple of miles away. You don’t seem to have an appreciation for this reality, while the US engages in operations (with drones or not) thousands of miles distant.

        • Richard Silverstein April 23, 2014, 1:49 AM

          @ Sara: What sort of nonsense is this? Yemen is nowhere near Israel. The only territory of Syria near Israel is the Golan, controlled by Druze forces, not Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda affiliated groups are operating anywhere near Israel, except in the Sinai, and Al Qaeda’s role there is due to the repression of the Egyptian military regime.

          As for “appreciation of reality,” it is YOU who have none.

    • Jafar Siddiqui April 22, 2014, 1:25 AM

      Well Nonsense, what’s good for the goose, is (or should be) good for the gander. Before you ask who represents the Palestinians, tell me who represents the Jews or, even Israelis. Israeli leaders always say they will take the matter to the (Jewish) people of Israel after the negotiations are over thus, creating a veto if they want to re-negotiate the issue for better terms.
      Who represents the Palestinians?
      Would that be the Christian Palestinians or, the Muslim ones? Would the Muslim ones be the Shia or the Sunni? Sufis or Selafis? Orthodox Christians or Catholic? Diaspora or the ones in post ’67 Occupied Territories or the ones in pre-’67 Israel?
      Would those representatives be the legitimately voted-in Hamas or the illegitimate, corrupt and easily purchasable, Fatah, imposed by Israel because they did not like the way the only free Palestinian elections went?

      Any lasting agreements MUST include a variety of Jews and a variety of Christian and Muslim Palestinians but if you want a farce, then by all means, “talk” to the Fatah, fill their bank accounts like Israel did for the bought-and-paid-for Arafat & Co and get whatever answers you want.

      You and “your side” also needs to remind itself that had the Israeli Jews not strangled the Palestinians ever since the first European Jews arrived (and especially after the first Palestinian elections), the Palestinians would not have turned to more and more extreme leaders.
      And if you believe the Israeli-citizen “enjoy equal civilian rights”, then you are either a propagandist or, you have never seen the lives of Israeli Palestinians up close. All Israel’s benefits are tied to military service and Palestinians are strongly discouraged and rejected from military service. Hell, they can only study highly-controlled subjects in university…IF they are allowed to get into one. If Israeli Palestinians marry Palestinians from Occupied territories, their spouses cannot enter or live in Israel, marriage between Jews and “Arvit” is not allowed. Palestinian villages are pictures of squalor with little or no services to them while Jewish settlements just across the street have everything, schools, clinics, transportation…everything.
      You can call it “equal rights”, I and the rest of the awake world, call it occupation, oppression and apartheid.

      If Arabs had refused to recognize Jews, they would not have been allowed to live in Arab countries where they lived in peace for centuries. It was only after the European Jews arrived and started boycotting Arab merchants and terrorizing them, that the locals and all neighboring Arabs and now, almost all Muslims have started haying Israel. And yes, some of that hate gets spread to ALL Jews by some Muslims, that is no different from those Jews who openly promote hate and fear of Muslims and Islam in order to defend Israel. There is NOTHING in Islam (your “theological” theory) that would support hate towards Jews in fact, the Quran instructs Muslims to treat ALL “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians and all who believe in ONE God) as brothers…fellow Muslims.
      Sure, you will have a dozen instances where I would not be right, but where did you ever experience a monolithic society that, through ages, behaved as one?

      Now, you and I can re-hash history about who hates whom more and who drew the first blood and who forced whom to kill their children etc., ad nauseam, but it would not get anyone closer to a happy solution. I have said this before and I say it again; Israeli Jews should approach ALL representatives of major Palestinian groups and convince them that Israel WANTS to arrive at a just…JUST, mind you…solution that allows everyone to live together in peace. While this is going on, Israel needs to stop it killing and oppression and the Diaspora Jews who, in many cases, are more fanatical than the Israeli Jews, should shut up and stay out of the way. The neighboring Arab nations should be completely ignored because they fear a peaceful Israel where Arabs and Jews live in harmony, more than the Likudniks do.

      It may not happen immediately and Palestinians may not flock to the table (they have been there before with zero results and a lot of blame), but it WILL happen once Palestinians understand that Israeli Jews are serious and sincere.

      Or, you can wait until all Arab nations agree to Israel’s demands and all Palestinian “representatives” as designated by Israel, sign on dotted lines and pretend you got a victorious peace…and continue to live in a fortified prison until one “side” or the other succeeds in killing off the other. Even if Israel destroys half the middle East as it goes down, remember it means that ALL of Israel is finished.

      I don’t believe that is a legacy you or any Jew wants to leave for the children who survive; Christians, Jews or Muslims.

      • Nonsense April 22, 2014, 6:50 AM

        Mr. Siddiqui

        You description of the matters is disassociated from reality and history in so many places, i wouldn’t know where to begin.

        1. Jews and Arabs never lived in piece anywhere in the Arab World. The European Colonialism made things a bit better, but jews & Christians were always second (if not third) class citizens, paid a unique protection tax and suffered many restrictions not directed at the Arab residents of the same country. You should really read Albert Memmi , a Tunisian originated Jew who immigrated to France (not to Israel) and wrote many books about the subject. Read Jews and Arabs, the book describes his first hand experiences. You should get yourself familiar with the many incidents in which Jews were slaughtered by their Arab neighbors in the cities they mutually resided in. such happened during the Farhud in 1941 Iraq (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farhud) and in many other places.

        2. In the state of Israel anyone who wants can serve in the military including people of Muslims faith. It’s a matter of choice. The Bedouins & Druze serve, and so are many other Muslims who choose to do so. True the number of non Bedouin Muslims who choose to serve in the military are not big yet, but that is changing. In a matter of fact there is an Arab-Christian movement that encourage it’s members to enlist. Those who enlist serve in whatever they see fit. I have a facebook friend who’s an Israeli-Arab and a Muslim , both her sons served in infantry brigades (golani and kfir) and her daughter served as a teacher. The Arabs were offered to do communal service mostly in their own communities as a substitute to a full military service, they were and are encouraged by own MK’s not to participate. Why ? I have no idea.

        True, Arab Villages in Israel suffer inferior conditions, most of it ( in my opinion) has to do with own initiative and culture. Take the Bedouin city of Hura as example: Few years ago a new mayor was elected. The elected mayor is the first Bedouin PHD his name Dr. Muhamad Elnabari in an article published 2 days ago he himself tells everyone how through cultural (city government culture) changes he was able to bring huge changes to own citizens. if you read Hebrew the article is available here http://www.themarker.com/news/1.2300444. Blaming the government is easy, taking an initiative and leading by example is much much harder.

        3. The issue of Family reunification will be solved in the future when an agreement will be achieved between the parties. The issue is a bit more obvious among the Bedouin tribes where by tradition a man can marry more then one women (and in most cases 3 or 4). In my opinion such a tradition should be restricted prohibited by law. Such is the case among special groups in the US.

        4 Representatives – Israel is a democracy not a perfect one but still is. Israel has withdrawn for peace before, and for peace we will do so again. In fact there are many surveys there who show that most Israelis support a two state solution. Your suggestion of talking to Hamas is great in theory, they do not want to reconcile with Fatah let alone negotiate with Israel. All Israeli’s reject the ROR. From Ehud Ulmert who agreed to accept a total of 5000 Palestinians on humanitarian ground without recognizing the ROR to Zehava Galon.

        In short Mr. Siddiqui i find your comments to be extremely polite and one sided. If this is your idea of a Just solution i fear there will be more blood.
        In my opinion in the short term both sides should accept:
        1. a two state solution with agreed upon land swaps.
        2. Physical ROR should be deserted as it is a pie in the sky dream though all refugees Jews & Arabs should be settled and compensated.
        3. A special arrangement should be reached concerning the Holy Basin in Jerusalem where it should be controlled by all 3 religions together under Israeli control. Why under Israeli control ? because the Rhodes agreement signed in 1949 allowed Jews to access their holly places in the Holly Basin, that part of the agreement was never implemented.
        4. Both countries (Israel & PA) should agree to conduct a Referendum in 25 years on whether or not they would like to become one.

        • Richard Silverstein April 23, 2014, 1:45 AM

          @ Nonsense: While I respect Jafar Siddiqui enormously and haven’t intervened in this thread solely because of him, you (Nonsense) are straying far from the topic of this post and violating the comment rules wily-nily. You are simply rehashing ancient Zionist history, which is yet another comment rule violation. Let’s end your participating in this thread as of now. No further contributions by you to it. Move on to another thread.

  • Gal April 20, 2014, 12:23 PM

    1. what is the difference between this machine and american drones attacking in yemen, for example? there are no female drone operators in the US army? I think taking lives is not easy for men and women. both will feel a little better, i guess, if they know for sure they prevented an attack on the border.
    2. you keep saying “killing gaza civilians. those are terrorists coming to the fence to hide explosive devices etc. you won’t find any shepherds crowling next to the borderin the middle of the night. or maybe you disagree.
    3. the soldiers are maybe under lots of pressure but they do not fire without approval of the responsible commander – a lieutenant colonel.
    4. this weapon is compatible with international law of warfare. in addition, it is natural that the warfare (around the globe) becomes more and more unmanned (sounds like you’re disappointed), so i don’t understand why you’re so surprised.

    now tell me i’m from the hasbara etc.
    happy holiday

    • Richard Silverstein April 20, 2014, 5:39 PM

      @Gal: The soldiers at the Gaza gun are ALL WOMEN. There are no US drone units consisting only of women.

      Taking lives when you’re a drone operator is stressful, no doubt. But serving in a combat zone & facing death every day is considerably more so.

      You won’t find civilians crawling near the Gaza fence? There are civilians including children killed almost every week at the fence.

      Soldiers don’t fire without the permission of a commander? Well, that’s totally reassuring. As long as they’re all following orders & the chain of command then everything’s OK, right?

      You have no idea whether this weapon or any other is “compatible with the international law of warfare.” I do not appreciate bluffing here. Say what you can prove with facts and nothing more.

      It’s entertaining to hear you talk of military developments as “natural,” when they are anything but.

    • Jafar Siddiqui April 20, 2014, 10:00 PM

      When it comes to killing Palestinians, there is no such thing as a “responsible commander” . there have been cases after cases of “responsible commanders” ordering the killing of children and obviously harmless adults.
      Please don’t pretend justification of killing Palestinians under “international law” because, if that were applied, then a large percentage of Israeli Jews would be in prison for dispossession, genocide, murders and wrongful occupation.

  • Mhara Castello April 20, 2014, 1:36 PM

    No, you’re not “from the hasbara”. You’re just an idiot. An inhuman one, at that. Happy holiday.

  • ckg April 20, 2014, 6:01 PM

    Richard–Thank you for your due diligence by not reporting this as a machine gun, as others have. Sometimes it’s better not to get the ‘scoop’.

  • Jafar Siddiqui April 20, 2014, 10:04 PM

    My only friendly suggestion to excellent reportage by richard, is to avoid the use of “terror” and terrorist” for attacks by Palestinians because that then justifies murderous responses against civilians, by Isreal.
    If “terror” and “terrorist” are a legitimate words to use in the Israel-Palestine situation, then I would encourage the use of those words for actions committed by Israel as well.

    • Andy April 21, 2014, 9:24 PM

      There is no purer form of terrorism than dispossession.

  • Jack April 20, 2014, 11:25 PM

    Sorry fella, I don’t like the IDF anymore than you do, but that is not a machine gun…it is a camera and boom microphone…so please stop misleading people with this nonsense.

    • Richard Silverstein April 21, 2014, 12:32 AM

      @ Jack: If you want to make a jackass of yourself, go right ahead. Don’t let me stop you!

      • Nimrod April 21, 2014, 1:48 PM

        He’s right.
        take a closer look at the last picture. The system on the Gaza border uses a M2 Browning.
        the “Israel’s drone gun atop Bethlehem Separation Wall” is not. notice the lack of ammunition feeding mechanism.

        • Richard Silverstein April 21, 2014, 7:19 PM

          @Nimrod: I think I will add a basic English reading comprehension test as part of eligibility to post comments here. Anyone who read the post will know that the Gaza gun fires ammunition. The Bethlehem gun fires Skunk ooze & tear gas. I never said the West Bank gun fires ammunition (yet). Please read carefully before wasting my & others time making false assumptions.

          • Sara April 21, 2014, 8:33 PM

            In the context of the post as a whole the caption “drone gun” clearly means an ammunition gun

          • Richard Silverstein April 21, 2014, 11:41 PM

            @Sara: Not at all. You’ve omitted that the post title refers to female IDF soldiers operating a drone gun. The only place where this is happening is in Gaza. The portion of the post dealing with the Bethlehem weapon doesn’t specify the gender of the IDF personnel operating it. Further, a weapon which shoots skunk ooze and tear gas is a gun.

        • Nonsense April 21, 2014, 8:52 PM

          Nimrod & Sara
          You guys are splitting hair.This facility may host a surveillance or Riot Control device other do host the See & Shoot system or may be changed in the future.

  • Sara April 21, 2014, 5:19 AM

    Richard those aren’t guns but reconnaissance equipment. Even the YNET article you linked to makes no mention of guns, these girls just help spot the terrorists and then call in the cavalry.

    • Richard Silverstein April 21, 2014, 7:23 PM

      @ Sara: You haven’t bothered to read my post nor the linked post at 972 Magazine which actually confirmed through the IDF that the weapon does exactly what I said it does. It isn’t reconnaissance equipment. You should also know that in aping the previous claim you’re following an anti-Semite kook who published it here.

      • Sara April 21, 2014, 8:48 PM

        From the YNET article:

        “The officer directed a military helicopter and a Golani force to the location of the terrorist” The article also explicitly refers to it as state of the art reconnaissance equipment

        • Richard Silverstein April 21, 2014, 11:36 PM

          @Sara: Presuming you read Hebrew and presuming you watched the”kill” video you’d have clearly seen captioning that indicated the operator was firing at the alleged terrorists. Not a helicopter & not an on-the-ground unit, but the operator of the gun. Did you bother to watch the video?

          Yes, of course it’s state of the art reconnaissance equipment because it combines a video camera and weapon. The video camera is the reconnaissance. The weapon isn’t. The female soldier in the photo in the Hebrew version of the article is clearly holding a camera operating device in one hand and a trigger in another. The Hebrew caption conforms this. But you didn’t bother to read that either did you?

  • Shoshana April 21, 2014, 1:57 PM

    [This comment smearing the name and memory of Judah Magnes with unfounded claims is the last straw. You have been banned.]

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