Israel’s army has deployed a sweeping personal data collection programme using facial recognition technology targeting Palestinians in parts of the occupied West Bank, an organisation working with former soldiers said Tuesday.
The programme sees Israeli troops collecting data of Palestinians in the flashpoint city of Hebron. It was first reported by The Washington Post based on soldier testimony given to the Breaking the Silence organisation.
After the picture is taken, the system known as “Blue Wolf” generates four possible results, according to Givati who said the findings were based on testimony from six soldiers who participated in the surveillance effort.
But no result means the Palestinian is not yet in the Blue Wolf system. That prompts the soldier to collect more data.
“Naturally, we cannot comment on the IDF’s operational capabilities in this context,” a spokesman said, referring to the Israeli Defense Forces.
He spoke in central Hebron near the holy site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi mosque and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs.
“We are talking about another layer of control. Another layer of things that we allow ourselves to do to the Palestinian people,” Givati said.