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Israel bans camera drones in West Bank

March 21, 2018 at 9:06 am

File photo of a recreational drone

Israeli occupation authorities have banned camera drones in the occupied West Bank, imposing a prison term of up to five years against owners and dealers who do not hold licences, Quds Press reported yesterday.

The Israeli occupation army said in a statement that the ban was put in place at the start of the month because these cameras pose a security threat.

Palestinian lawyer Ashraf Abu Sneineh said that the military ban “restricts personal freedoms and affects a large number of Palestinians”.

He noted that the Israeli occupation imposed an “exaggerated” punishment against dealers and owners of unlicensed cameras as they are given sentences similar to the dealers and owners or unlicensed weapons.

An article of the Israeli military ban stipulates, according to the lawyer, that getting a license for a camera drone would not be easy. In addition, he said, any Palestinian who has been imprisoned or whose relative has spent time in jail would not be given a license.

Read: Israeli security expert: ‘relatively calm’ decade in the West Bank is over

Member of the Syndicate of the Palestinian Journalists Omar Nazzal accused the Israeli occupation of targeting Palestinian journalists and media.

Speaking to Quds Press, Nazzal said that the cameras are widely used by the Palestinian journalists, stressing that the ban is part of the Israeli escalation against journalists which started in the wake of the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December.

“The Israeli ban will be part of the Syndication’s report to be raised to international bodies about the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and Palestinian mass media,” Nazzal said.