Wednesday 07 December 2022

Zionist army to use armed drones for targeted killings in West Bank

Israel Occupation Forces’ Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi has given the green light to commanders in the West Bank to use armed drones in order to carry out targeted killings.

The order comes as Israeli security forces have encountered a significant rise in shooting attacks and massive gunfire during arrest raids, specifically in the northern West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus, Jerusalem Post reported.


On Wednesday four Palestinians were killed and 44 others injured during an arrest raid which saw heavy gunfire targeting troops who had entered Jenin’s refugee camp to arrest Abd al-Rahman Hazem, the brother of the fighter who killed three Israelis on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff street in April.


Kohavi later met with Central Command chief Maj.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs and West Bank Division commander Brig.-Gen. Avi Blot who presented him with an updated assessment of the region.


It’s believed that the order was given as the continued violence threatens to drag Israel into a more extensive operation in the northern West Bank, similar to Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.


Speaking to Army Radio on Thursday morning, Interior Minister Omer Bar-Lev said that while “no one has an interest in launching a large-scale operation” should the situation continue to deteriorate “it can happen.”


Israel is “making targeted efforts and countermeasures” in an attempt to prevent such a scenario, Bar Lev said, adding that “the possibility that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad could join in from the Gaza Strip should we launch an operation, will not deter us.”


In September, The Jerusalem Post confirmed that IOF commanders had undergone training to prepare them for the possibility that they will use armed drones during counter-terrorism operations.


The Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Alaluf and the commander of the Menashe Brigade Col. Arik Moyal recently underwent training to operate an air force assault command center that monitors and controls armed drones.


Following their training on the systems, they will be able to command over the use of the drones, likely Elbit’s Hermes 450 (known as Zik in Hebrew) during operations.


The Israeli Air Force has been using armed drones since as early as 2008 in targeted killings in Gaza against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters but have not been used in the West Bank.


It’s believed that Kohavi gave the green light to use the platforms in an attempt to reduce the escalation of violence.


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