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Updated: Remote-control gun installed atop wall near Bethlehem — Ma’an

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Wall north of Bethlehem, from this site
Wall north of Bethlehem, from this site
detail of photograph of wall north of Bethlehem
detail of photograph of wall north of Bethlehem

Update: Since we posted the story below, it appears that our suggestion that the gun fires live ammunition was in error. Ryan Rodrick Beiler has posted pictures on twitter pointing to the idea that the gun is a water cannon, designed to spray skunk water for riot control. Beiler tweets a picture showing the device was there during last week’s Palestine marathon.

Tom Suarez also says that it is a water cannon. “I live right there,  and our understanding has been that it is a water cannon (this coming from a Palestinian here who does some journalism). I see it swivel around, but have never seen it ‘work'”.

Beiler also tweets his photo of a gun atop the Erez crossing at Gaza that he says is the real thing: a remote-controlled machine gun that fires ammunition at people.

Original post: 

The above device, fixed lately to the top of the separation wall north of Bethlehem, is a remote-controlled machine gun, according to Palestinian sources. Ma’an News published a report on the device three days ago, saying it’s “unprecedented” and is causing anxiety among Bethlehemites. A Facebook page called “Bethlahem Today” has the same report.

Here’s a crude automatic translation of the Arabic report:

Israeli occupying forces erected Sunday, machine guns equipped with cameras on top of the security wall surrounding the Bilal bin Rabah mosque, North of Bethlehem.

Israeli forces provided each machine gun cameras from large high-capacity and possibility of photography relatively long distances and to Bethlehem in the direction of the education of the old junction.

This allows the cameras to Israeli soldiers monitor the city of Bethlehem and targeting citizens far below that reveal themselves and sees them one using special monitors in the occupied area of the mosque and surrounded by walls from all directions.

Jareer Kassis, an Arabic speaker in the States, says:

The reports are consistent with this article in Wired, 2007, on Israel developing remote controlled machine guns.

For years and years, the Israeli military has been trying to figure out a way to keep Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip from crossing over into Israel proper. The latest tactic: create a set of “automated kill zones” by networking together remote-controlled machine guns, ground sensors, and drones along the 60-kilometer border.

Thanks to Alex Kane and Icarus Verum.

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informed it is remote riot dispersal – capable of water cannon, skunk & tear gas. Not armament.

Of course, as you look at the picture of the device you will notice there is no magazine on the “rifle/machine-gun” and therefore no way for the thing to deliver solid ordinance – since bullets would have to negotiate an ‘s’ turn to reach the barrel.

Not shocking that MW and the palestinian press would distort the truth and characterize this as a ‘machine gun’

I’m not an armaments expert so I can’t argue but I don’t see any water source unless it runs up through the armature. It bears a very striking resemblance to an autmated machine gun produced by Rafael industries in Israel. And Israel was reported by Janes to be in the process of deploying remote automated machine guns along the separation barrier. So my question is, without argument, do you have any link to the manufacturer… Read more »

incorrect translation…”what is this” says Norm Abram this picture was taken at the lovely David BenGurion Memorial Arboretum where one can stroll and admire the the orange trees and flowers and then go over by the pond the feed the ducks….the upkeep and general standard of aesthetics is excellent…and open to all this is actually a remotely controlled and programmable sprinkler system with a directed spray stream to conserve water…designed to “make the desert bloom”as… Read more »