Israel Expands Its Surveillance State in the West Bank

 Report

  • An Israeli soldier stands guard near the scene of an attempted stabbing attack near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 20, 2017.

    An Israeli soldier stands guard near the scene of an attempted stabbing attack near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 20, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 June 2017 (18 hours 47 minutes ago)
More than 1,700 cameras have been put in place on roads, intersections and in settlements across the West Bank.

The Israeli Army has accelerated its program to install an extensive network of surveillance cameras and “other monitoring devices” across the West Bank over the past year raising worries about privacy and human rights, Israeli news daily Haaretz reported Sunday.

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According to the newspaper, more than 1,700 cameras have been installed on roads, intersections and in settlements across the West Bank to “deter terror attacks.”

“The army believes more cameras deter terror attacks and can aid in gathering intelligence that can help to capture perpetrators,” especially under today’s reality that most terror attacks are carried out by lone wolves, Haaretz reported.

However, this also raises questions about privacy and human rights, especially for a country which has been denounced internationally for ongoing crimes against Palestinians.

According to Haaretz, the system comprises both cameras clearly visible from a distance and hidden cameras. In some places considered at high risks for terror attacks or have been the site of several attacks, the installed cameras can even provide 360-degree coverage.

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There also has been an increased use of drones, helmet-mounted cameras and cameras installed on vehicles. Haaretz said the army’s goal is to “expand the system until there is a camera at every intersection and in as many Israeli vehicles in the territories as possible.”

Haaretz described the extensive surveillance efforts as “supplements” to Israeli authorities’ crackdown on Palestinian social media activity.

The Israeli Army’s goal is to “expand the system until there is a camera at every intersection and in as many Israeli vehicles in the (occupied) territories as possible.”

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