> our title:

Report Examines Israel’s Production, Use of UAVs

> original title:

Israel and the Drone Wars: Examining Israel’s Production, Use and Proliferation of UAVs

(Source: Drone Wars UK; published January 2014)


Israel and the Drone Wars examines Israel’s growing production, use and proliferation of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) commonly known as drones. Israel is one of only three countries (as well as the US and the UK) that have used armed drones in conflict. While all three countries are extremely secretive about their use of armed drones, Israel takes this lack of transparency a step further by never officially acknowledging that it has in fact used armed drones.

Nevertheless, using secret diplomatic cables released through WikiLeaks, reports from the defence press and other sources in the public domain, Drone Wars UK has established beyond doubt that Israel has launched numerous airstrikes in Gaza using its armed drones. There is also evidence that Israel has used its armed drones to undertake attacks in Egypt and Sudan.

In many ways, Israel has led the way in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in conflict, with its development and use of military UAVs going back at least four decades. Israel’s persistent use of surveillance drones over Gaza is without precedent and has a serious and detrimental impact on the lives of Palestinians.

Israel’s use of armed drones in Operation Pillar of Defence, the November 2012 military offensive into Gaza, appears to be the first major military incursion not to use ground forces at all and sets a precedent for military intervention.

Israel also has a claim to be the major player in global drone proliferation. Drone Wars UK research has discovered that about fifty countries out of the more than seventy known to have some form of military UAV capability have received drones or drone technology transfers from Israel. It should be said that we have found no evidence that Israel has directly exported any armed drones.

The UK’s Watchkeeper drone, being developed and built in conjunction with Israeli company Elbit Systems, is a good example of how Israel profits from its long experience of this new way to wage war. Indeed it could be said that if you scratch any drone you will likely find Israeli technology underneath.


Click here for the full report (32 PDF pages) on the Drone Wars UK website.

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