This report backs up what Naomi Klein wrote, that the Israeli weapons industry benefits from using attacks on Palestine as a testing ground for new technology. Which becomes another incentive against peace.
Palestinians say they know when an Israeli drone is in the air: Cell phones stop working, TV reception falters and they can hear a distant buzzing. They also know what’s likely to come next — a devastating explosion on the ground.
“Our experience is that the drone missile is successful in hitting its targets, and it’s deadly,” said Dr. Mahmoud Assali, a Palestinian physician who works in the emergency room of a northern Gaza Strip hospital that has often treated Palestinian gunmen hit by Israeli drones.
“The drone has a zone of around 15 meters (50 feet) where it decimates everything. It targets people and leaves them in pieces,” Assali said.
Israel is at the forefront of the drone technology that is increasingly being used in hotspots around the world. The unmanned craft provide a deadly and cost-effective alternative for armies to target enemies
A militant from the southern Gaza Strip who belongs to the Islamic Jihad group said drones were mostly used to target individuals, and not structures. He said they often hovered at much higher altitudes than manned aircraft and their missiles were frequently more destructive, leaving deep gashes where they landed.
The militant said the drones usually targeted slow-moving targets, like people walking, or cars slowing down to avoid potholes in a road.
“It looks like it makes small circles in the sky, but before it’s about to fire a missile, it slows down,” the militant said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared being identified by Israel. “It’s not like any other plane. You don’t see the missile leaving, it’s very quiet.”
Israel has long been considered the world leader in drone technology and proudly exhibits its products at international air shows. But it maintains its drones are for surveillance purposes, and refuses to confirm using them in airstrikes.
Doron Suslik, a top official at the Israel Aerospace Industries, which manufactures drones, said the company has customers from all over the world, including Switzerland, France and India, with annual sales of $500 million to $600 million.
He refused to divulge the drone’s military capabilities, citing his clients’ desire for confidentiality. Government and army officials also refused to comment on the drone’s firing capabilities.
The use of drones is shrouded in secrecy, and Israeli defense officials refuse to comment publicly on whether they are being used in airstrikes in Gaza. However, Israeli officers in private conversations have confirmed use of the weapons.