The Times of Israel has published an article stating that on Friday Israel used new technology to counter violent protests along the Gaza border, with Border Police using small drones to drop tear gas on Palestinian protesters.
An AFP correspondent saw a drone release around 10 gas canisters as protesters on the border with Israel cursed the small craft. People quickly scattered when they saw the drones approaching.
A police spokesman acknowledged operational deployment of the new technology.
“A number of people were injured by the containers, which fell from a height of between 10 and 20 meters (30-60 feet)”, the AFP correspondent said.
“Use of unmanned aerial vehicles to launch tear gas is a recent innovation”, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
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“It was used a few weeks ago around the Gaza Strip area and it is also being used today, in order to prevent protesters getting to the Gaza crossing or Gaza border,” he said.
“It’s a mini-drone which has the capability of flying over certain zones and certain areas and then letting go of tear gas in areas that we want to prevent protesters from reaching.”
Tens of thousands of Gazans took to the streets Friday in mass protests calling for Palestinians to be allowed to return to land that their ancestors fled from in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
Friday’s clashes were the deadliest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza War. Israeli troops used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas to keep thousands of Gazans from trying to approach the border fence. The military said protesters threw firebombs and rocks at soldiers, rolled burning tires at them and in one incident opened fire. Continue reading about how Israel plans to use drones on Gaza Protesters.