Motorola facilitates the continued presence of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank, in violation of international law, by providing Israeli forces with high-tech radar systems to “protect” these settlements from the Palestinian communities that surround them.
Operating under the pretext of security, Motorola is complicit in Israel’s rapid encroachment on Palestinian land. Surveillance devices are themselves part of the infrastructure of occupation and colonization, and are installed directly on occupied Palestinian territory with the stated intention of preventing Palestinians from “infiltrating” Israeli settlements. These mechanisms, composed of a network of radar sensors and cameras connected to a command center, enable the detection and surveillance of Palestinians on their own land from as far as 700 meters.
The creation and installation of such surveillance systems has cost at least $93 million, and likely more than this, sincefirst being put to use in 2005 in Har Bracha settlement, near Nablus. By 2006, slightly over a year after its debut, it was in use near at least 47 Israeli settlements in the West Bank, many of which are deep in Palestinian territory and far away from the Green Line. Some settlements have received as many as 30 radar stations. The system is currently known to be in use in the Hebron region, including around the settlement of Karmei Tzur and in Hebron itself, where a handful of settlers with a history of violent attacks on Palestinians are spread throughout the city.
Motorola also currently markets a surveillance system on the above model called Stronghold, which was developed in collaboration with Aeronautics Defense Systems.
The deployment of these surveillance systems buttresses the occupation not only militarily, but also economically and in terms of Israeli law. The installation of these systems, which have high initial costs but subsequently increase surveillance while reducing manpower, is evidence that Israel has no intention of dismantling the settlements or ending its occupation of Palestinian land. Furthermore, Israeli forces have installed the surveillance systems on Palestinian land outside of the settlements with the approval of the Justice Ministry, even though they serve exclusively to continue the occupation.
The project was recently inspected by the United States government, which is considering using the Motorola-developed radar on the Mexican border.