Drones over Gaza

Monday, 11 April 2011

It is no secret that the citizens of the Gaza district have been walled in and kept alive only to be used as guinea pigs for the Israeli arms industry. The Guardian got reporters into the Strip, and they came out with hard evidence of the role that Israeli-manufactured armed drones played in the attack of 2009. The UK was already known as being guilty of involvement in Cast Lead, as Raytheon, the company that makes the electronics inside the F16s which continue to bomb the Gazans, has its offices in Bristol. But further than that: the European Union, through the European Research Programme, has been subsidising the Israeli arms industry as part of the current EU / Israeli Association Agreement. Under this, Israel is entitled to the same funding for research as are EU member states.

In return, Israel sells its weapons back to EU countries, having tested them on the Strip. One EU subsidy was specifically given for the development of these drones, despite their use being (at the moment) illegal in Europe: Open Architecture for UAV-based Surveillance Systems (OPARUS) received an EU subsidy of E11.88m for the development of drones such as the armed Herons, manufactured by Israeli Aerospace Industries, which were used in Operation Cast Lead.
The arms industry is now Israel’s biggest export – just as with Britain – and so both states can only profit from war. And any tendency by our politicians to prefer bombing or the supply of weapons over diplomacy – as in Libya, for instance – must be viewed with suspicion.
Israeli airstrike turns Gaza family’s life into torment
GAZA, April 9 — Ibrahim Qdieh, a 52-year-old resident of the southern Gaza village of Abassan, never knew that a few minutes’ absence from home would rescue him from a possible death but left him gulping the pain of losing wife and daughter for the rest of his life. His wife and daughter were killed in an Israeli air raid on their home, a 90-square-metre house built on a farm in the village in the east of Khan Younis city … When the air raid took place on Friday afternoon, Qdieh and some family members were praying in a mosque, while his wife stayed at home, about to wash the children’s school uniforms for the school day right after the weekend …”…as soon as I reached the house, I saw the horrible and awful crime, smears of blood and remnants all over the place. I wasn’t able to believe my eyes to see my daughter Nidal, who was preparing for her wedding next week and my wife are dead.” An Israeli reconnaissance drone fired one missile, directly hitting the house. The missile took the lives of Nidal and her mother, and injured four others in the family.

(palywely.blogspot.com / 25.04.2011)

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