Skip to comments.The Spot-and-Shoot Game: Israeli female soldiers kill by remote control.
Posted on 07/20/2010 11:13:52 PM PDT by Jeff Gordon
It is called Spot and Shoot. Operators sit in front of a TV monitor from which they can control the action with a PlayStation-style joystick.
The aim: to kill.
Played by: young women serving in the Israeli army.
Spot and Shoot, as it is called by the Israeli military, may look like a video game but the figures on the screen are real people Palestinians in Gaza who can be killed with the press of a button on the joystick.
The female soldiers, located far away in an operations room, are responsible for aiming and firing remote-controlled machine-guns mounted on watch-towers every few hundred metres along an electronic fence that surrounds Gaza.
The system is one of the latest "remote killing" devices developed by Israel's Rafael armaments company, the former weapons research division of the Israeli army and now a separate governmental firm.
According to Giora Katz, Rafael's vice president, remote-controlled military hardware such as Spot and Shoot is the face of the future. He expects that within a decade at least a third of the machines used by the Israeli army to control land, air and sea will be unmanned.
The demand for such devices, the Israeli army admits, has been partly fuelled by a combination of declining recruitment levels and a population less ready to risk death in combat.
Oren Berebbi, head of its technology branch, recently told an American newspaper: "We're trying to get to unmanned vehicles everywhere on the battlefield We can do more and more missions without putting a soldier at risk.
Rapid progress with the technology has raised alarm at the United Nations. Philip Alston, its special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, warned last month of the danger that a "PlayStation mentality to killing" could quickly emerge.
According to analysts, however, Israel is unlikely to turn its back on hardware that it has been at the forefront of developing using the occupied Palestinian territories, and especially Gaza, as testing laboratories.
Remotely controlled weapons systems are in high demand from repressive regimes and the burgeoning homeland security industries around the globe.
"These systems are still in the early stages of development but there is a large and growing market for them," said Shlomo Brom, a retired general and defence analyst at the Institute of National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
The Spot and Shoot system officially known as Sentry Tech has mostly attracted attention because it is operated by 19- and 20-year-old female soldiers, making it the Israeli army's only weapons system operated exclusively by women.
Female soldiers are preferred to operate remote killing devices because of a shortage of male recruits to Israel's combat units. Young women can carry out missions without breaking the social taboo of risking their lives, said Mr Brom.
The women are supposed to identify anyone suspicious approaching the fence around Gaza and, if authorised by an officer, execute them using their joysticks.
The Israeli army, which plans to introduce the technology along Israel's other confrontation lines, refuses to say how many Palestinians have been killed by the remotely controlled machine-guns in Gaza. According to the Israeli media, however, it is believed to be several dozen.
The system was phased-in two years ago for surveillance, but operators were only able to open fire with it more recently. The army admitted using Sentry Tech in December to kill at least two Palestinians several hundred metres inside the fence.
The Haaretz newspaper, which was given rare access to a Sentry Tech control room, quoted one soldier, Bar Keren, 20, last week saying: "It's very alluring to be the one to do this. But not everyone wants this job. It's no simple matter to take up a joystick like that of a Sony PlayStation and kill, but ultimately it's for defence."
Audio sensors on the towers mean that the women hear the shot as it kills the target. No woman, Haaretz reported, had failed the task of shooting what the army calls an "incriminated" Palestinian.
The Israeli military, which enforces an unmarked no-man's land inside the fence that reaches as deep as 300 metres into the tiny enclave, has been widely criticised for opening fire on civilians entering the closed zone.
Rafael is reported to be developing a version of Sentry Tech that will fire long-range guided missiles.
Another piece of hardware recently developed for the Israeli army is the Guardium, an armoured robot-car that can patrol territory at up to 80km per hour, navigate through cities, launch "ambushes" and shoot at targets. It now patrols the Israeli borders with Gaza and Lebanon.
Its Israeli developers, G-Nius, have called it the world's first "robot soldier".
But Israel is most known for its role in developing "unmanned aerial vehicles" or drones, as they have come to be known. Originally intended for spying, and first used by Israel over south Lebanon in the early 1980s, today they are increasingly being used for extrajudicial executions from thousands of feet in the sky.
I love the Israelis. Now, if we could only get this for our border.
If the “no-go” lines are clearly marked, I do not have a problem with this system.
Baby, I'm your joystick
Your joystick baby
I can do anything that you want me to do...ooh ooh, yeah
I can prove that love is just like a video game
Just take control of a stick, of a stick, of a stick
I'll let you play your game
Thinking the same thing. Like posting between towers:
Ningún punto a correr, usted sólo se morirá cansado.
No point in running, you will only die tired.
Los sobrevivientes serán procesados
Survivors will be prosecuted.
The Israeli version of the Maginot line. I hope this one works better than the last one.
Probably pretty long run from the bunker to jammed weapon
I hear you. However, I suspect that these are deployed such that (a) there are overlapping fields of fire, (b) these are intended for the interception of single or small group infiltrations only, and (c) there are reserve forces in case item (b) is violated.
At least that’s how I would have set them up.
I always hated the term “You go girl!!!”, but it’s appropriate here.
I want one in my front yard.
This is neat stuff. And it has an added psychological edge. Women are disdained and subjugated under Islam, and muzzies hate Jews worse than anything else (it’s in the Koran).
How ignominious then, for an armed jihadi muzzie to be dispatched by a Jewish female. Said jihadi probably won’t even get his virgins.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Mr. President, we must not allow... a Sentry Tech gap!
You took the words right out of my mouth. Set up an array of them along the Southern border and demonstrate a complete willingness to USE THEM!
“The Israeli version of the Maginot line. I hope this one works better than the last one.”
It’s not designed to try to stop an invading army. Just terrorists.
South Korea has much the same technology, and some of its sentries are purely automated -— heat signal matching a human in a zone = fire.
The author goes out of his way to try to make the Israelis seem evil -— e.g., “executed” -— while going about their business of guarding against terrorist infiltrators.
It needs to come with a PMS override switch to prevent “blue-on-blue” especially if my ex-wife mistakenly gets access to said joystick.
you missed the point.
I am confused. My government is telling me you cannot seal a border..???...
I don’t think so.
France’s ML was supposed to stop an invading army — and remains testament to the futilty of fixed structures in modern warefare.
The Israeli wall is not designed to stop, say Eqypt, but the daily infiltrators.
The South Koreans are one upping this. They are developing automated robot gun mounts for the DMV.
The trouble with this rational statement is that we'd all be surprised at what the enemy and their brainless supporters would deem "clearly."
Personally I would add that anyone with their facial features hidden, within the safety zone and carrying obvious weapons or containers of anything are targeted and shot on the spot, no questioned asked.
I have to resort to the obvious observation about war. There can be no rational basis for any "obligation" on the part of the victim of infiltration, for reciprocity in the number of casualties, nor for so-called "proportional response."
One of my pet peeves. It's a lot more than a "social taboo." Too many oung women knocked off on the battlefield = no next generation. Young men, biologically speaking, are expendable; young women are not.
It's not a social taboo. It's an iron biological imperative.
Looking at it from a realistic point of view, it is certainly more humane than a minefield.
Mines don’t think. Step on the trigger, they go boom. This way, there is a human in the loop.
If some little kid chases a ball into the restricted area, the girl on the joystick is not going to hit the trigger. In fact, most girls will be very reluctant to hit that trigger in any case. But if it is an obvious infiltrator carrying something that could be (probably is) something that could kill her or her family, she can do it.
impressive. bookmarking for my daughter to read.
Wow....sounds like their licensing requirements have got a lot more stringent since I was there! :-)