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7 Jul 2021

Sahar Amer, The New Arab

Israel is using biometric technology to facilitate military occupation, incl. digitizing movement restrictions & surveillance

“How Israel is automating the occupation of Palestine”, 7 July 2021.

The deployment of new technologies by Israel to maintain control over Palestinians is by no means a recent phenomenon, but rather a shift from traditional surveillance and intimidation practices to ever-increasingly digitised ones.


Israel has long been accused of using the occupied West Bank as a testbed for developing new technologies before marketing them overseas, which includes performing invasive digital operations such as mobile and internet monitoring, social media blocking and censoring, and biometric data collection.


There is approximately one camera per 100 people out of the total population of 40,000 covering only 0.9 square kilometres.


Israel has also been known to station drones at Palestinian protests to surveil the crowds or drop large amounts of tear gas.


The infamous Israeli Cyber Unit has systematically worked with big tech companies including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, requesting content by or for Palestinians to be removed from the platforms.


Although Israel prides itself as a country with an array of legislation surrounding data protection and privacy...Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem don’t hold Israeli citizenship and are therefore not protected by these laws.