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Israel refuses to sign US document regulating export of killer drones – report

RT | October 24, 2016

Israel is reportedly refusing to sign a US document on the use and export guidelines of armed drones, fearing it would hurt its defense industries. The State Department paper aims to establish international standards in the production and selling of UAVs.

The one-page document, titled “Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs),” covers a number of topics regarding the selling and usage of drone systems, according to Defense News.

Those topics include applying international law and human rights when using UAVs; following existing arms control laws in selling armed drone systems; considering the buyer country’s history on “adherence to international obligations and commitments”; following “appropriate transparency measures”; and ensuring the sold unmanned system’s capabilities are “transferred and used responsibly by all states.”

The document has been provided to countries which are considered to be US allies and has already been signed by over 40 nations, including Austria, Germany and Italy.

Israel, however, has so far refused to sign the document, with sources in the country’s defense industry telling Haaretz that the sector is concerned it could limit the nation’s export business.

Israel is potentially already facing a loss of business when it comes to drone exports, following the admission of India to the multilateral Missile Technology Control Regime by the US – a move which removes barriers to the sale of American UAVs to the country.

Following India’s admission into the regime, Delhi has shown an interest in acquiring the US-made Predator drone rather than Israeli UAVs.

Another threat to Israel’s share of the drone market includes a lawsuit by the American firm General Atomics, which is aiming to block the lease of the Israeli Heron TP drone to Germany.

However, a senior air force official told Haaretz that Israel still has one advantage when it comes to drones – the promise for the country’s drone squadron to train buyers of Israeli UAVs, as Israel’s air force is considered a world leader in the field.

In addition to its efforts to maintain its stronghold in the market, Israel is also seeking to have limitations placed on information regarding its deployment of drones. When German MPs demanded answers regarding Berlin’s lease of Heron TP drones earlier this year, they were denied information and told the matter was considered confidential by Israel, and that any information was subject to limitations imposed by Tel Aviv.

October 24, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Arming Drones With Lasers to Increase Danger of Human Rights Abuses

Sputnik – 25.09.2015

WASHINGTON – Proposals to attach a high-energy laser on the Avenger, or Predator-C, drone will give the US armed forces and its contractors a cost-effective weapon to carry out widespread assassinations and intimidate domestic critics, experts told Sputnik.

“Arming drones with lasers is likely to increase the use of drones for harassment of individuals and populations in attacks that cause burning and terror but fall short of killing,” Coordinator Nick Mottern told Sputnik on Thursday. “Woundings are likely to increase, and assassinations may well increase.”

Mottern warned that laser drones would offer military forces and their private contractors a cheaper and more convenient means of conducting assassinations on a broad scale.

“Laser attacks may be less expensive in dollar terms than missile attacks, which also may bring an increase in injury and killing,” he said. “Casualties of all kinds are likely to increase. The advantage is only to weapons makers.”

Upstate Drone Action activist Ed Kinane told Sputnik that arming drones with lasers would make an already reprehensible weapon even more contemptible.

“Weaponized drones are vile; arming them with lasers is even viler,” he told Sputnik. “Corporations, like General Atomics, trying to develop such high-tech killing devices, should have their charters revoked; their executive officers and chief engineers should be prosecuted for being the intellectual authors of assassination and terrorism.”

Kinane argued that US Department of Defense officials working with mercenary contractors were likewise criminals and should be indicted.

“Like nuclear weapons, weaponized drones are instruments of terror, but also of diplomatic blackmail,” the activist warned, “Leaders of nations, when negotiating with the US, can’t help but know that they are doing so with a gun at their heads.”

Kinane warned that drones armed with lasers were weapons designed not for defense, but for global hegemony and that they would eventually be used to threaten and coerce American citizens too.

“Soon the people of the US will come under threat … from such high-tech weapon development,” he predicted. “These weapons may primarily be used to defend, not the nation, but the status quo power structure of the nation.”

Kinane also predicted that the new weapons would be used to intimidate and threaten domestic critics of US policies.

“They will surely be used domestically to intimidate and quell dissent, making a shambles of the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and petitioning the government for the redress of grievances,” he stated.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) the San Diego-based company that makes the Predator and Reaper drones, is undertaking a privately funded study to integrate a 150-kilowatt solid-state laser onto its Avenger (née Predator-C) drone.

If the company succeeds, a drone with a high-energy laser will be a reality at some point in 2017, company executives told DefenseOne.

September 25, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment