Brighton & Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign once again took to the streets to highlight Israel’s shameful use of drones to kill and maim the Palestinian population – all in the name of ‘self-defence’.
1,102 Palestinians were murdered in attacks carried out by Israeli drones from 2005 to 2014.
To learn more about Israel’s use of killer drones, read the text below.
What are Drones?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, are aircraft remotely controlled on video screens by ‘pilots’ on the ground, often at great distance from war zones.
The two main types are: those used for surveillance and those that are armed with missiles and bombs.
What’s it got to do with Palestine?
Currently, only 3 countries in the world are using drones to launch missile attacks on communities in another country: the USA, the UK and Israel.
Israel is one of the most heavily militarised states on earth. In 2012, its military expenditure exceeded £9.9 billion, the third highest per capita expenditure in the world.
What’s more, Israel takes advantage of its armed conflicts and military assaults against the Palestinian population and neighbouring states to ‘field test’ its weapons, which companies such as Elbit then sell on the international arms market for huge profits.
How many Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces?
4,789 were killed from 29/09/2000 to 26/12/2008
1,398 were killed from 27/12/2008 to 18/01/2009
555 were killed from 19/1/2009 to 28/2/2014
(figures from http://www.btselem.org/statistics)
Increasingly, Palestinians are killed by drone missile attacks. In the words of Hamdi Shaqqura, deputy director for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:
“For us, drones mean death… When you hear drones, you hear death.”
In 2011 the Palestinian ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ National Committee issued a call for an immediate military embargo:
“A comprehensive military embargo on Israel is long overdue. It forms a crucial step towards ending Israel’s unlawful and criminal use of force against the Palestinian people and other peoples and states in the region, and it constitutes an effective, non-violent measure to pressure Israel to comply with its obligations under international law.”
Supporters of the embargo include Nobel Peace Prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.