Drones in Gaza, A Gazan Viewpoint.

In March 2010 David Cronin of the Interpress News Agency interviewed MAHMOUD ABU RAHMA, Gazan human rights worker, who had just been allowed out of Gaza for the first time since 2006.

Asked about the use of drones in Gaza, Abu Rahma had this to say:

“Based on our documentation on the number of drone attacks on Gaza during last winter’s war and based on the number of victims that have been documented and based on how most of these victims were actually civilians – many of them were children – the weapons that killed most civilians last winter were drones. They failed with excellence between distinguishing civilians and combatants. They are precision weapons but they are operated by one person who is sitting behind a computer and seeing a small screen. Sometimes decisions have to be made with haste so with the very open rules that the Israeli army operated under during the war, these weapons have caused too much damage to civilians. And I think you can make a case that this documentation and other documentation coming from Afghanistan and other places where this terrible weapon has been used deserve a serious concentration by the international community to see what can be done about this weapon. Our documentation takes me to only one direction: this is a cruel weapon that must not be used in wars where civilians are involved.”

In response to a question about purchases of Israeli arms he had other comments:

Q: Some EU countries are major customers of the Israeli arms industry. Does that make them complicit in crimes perpetrated by the state of Israel?

A: I don’t want to say that the EU has been complicit but what I can say is that the EU has not done enough when it could have. Logic from a human rights point of view is based on the ethical rule that says if you can, you ought to. So if you can practice influence and change the situation to the good, then you have an obligation, moral as well as legal, to do something about the situation. And from our point of view, the EU has not done enough.

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