Drones and Gaza

Drones have now become a fact of warfare.  For those deploying them they are the ultimate weapon that is surgically accurate with no risk whatsoever to those wielding them. Being at the other end of the experience must be truly horrible not so much in the particular destruction and death that they unleash – gradations in pain and maiming is a disgusting idea anyway – but in the general sense of Orwellian terror that they engender.

Selma Dabbagh is a British Palestinian writer who describes life in Gaza in her novel Out of It. At any moment of any day and night drones are criss-crossing the tiny territory. Their noise is ubiquitous. As you go about your daily business you are aware that someone, somewhere, is looking at you – and their gaze is malignant. Every now and then – and such an event is brilliantly described in the novel – a thunderbolt comes seemingly from nowhere and eviscerates an enemy of Isreal as he or she is walking down a street. They might be taking a child to school or watching a football match. There is no warning.

Life in such a place must be unbearable.  Imagine living all your life with someone watching you with the intention not of protecting you, pace CTTV cameras, but of doing you harm – all day, every day. It’s like the Truman Show and 1984 rolled together – and real.

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