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The Military Politics

The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict 402

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-got-the-best-guns dept.
Taco Cowboy writes The Israel — Hamas conflict in Gaza is not only about bombs, missiles, bullets, but also about cyberwarfare, battles of the mind over social media, smart underground tunnels and cloud-based missile launching systems. The tunnels that Hamas has dug deep beneath Gaza are embedded with high tech gadgets, courtesy of Qatar, which has funded Hamas with billions to equipped their tunnels with intelligent sensors which are networked to control centers enabling the command and control staff to quickly notify operatives nearby that IDF units are advancing inside a certain tunnel, allowing for rapid deployment of attack units and the setting up of bobby traps inside the tunnel.

In addition, Hamas has automated its rocket firing system using networked, cloud-based launching software provided by Qatar which can set off a rocket from any distance, and set them to go off at a specific time, using timers. "Anyone who thinks they have dozens of people sitting next to launchers firing rockets each time there is a barrage is mistaken," said Aviad Dadon, a senior cyber-security adviser at several Israeli government ministries. While Doha is allowing Hamas to use its technology to fight Israel, it's their own cyber-security the leaders of Qatar are worried about. For the Qataris, the war between Israel and Hamas is a proving ground to see how their investments in cyber systems have paid of — Qatar is very worried that one of its Gulf rivals — specifically Saudi Arabia — will use technology to attack it, and Qatar spends a great deal of money each year on shoring up its cyber-technology.
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

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  • Ahh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaredm1 (1620295) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @09:43AM (#47593225)
    Just another article that makes big claims yet shockingly thin on any details. How are we on /. meant to have any discussion on this when there's nothing tech-worthy - just some questionable allegations.
  • Billions? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ecuador (740021) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @09:44AM (#47593245) Homepage
    If Hamas were funded with billions, they would not be limited to firing 500-Euro worth DIY rockets [wikipedia.org]... But then again the article is from "timesofisrael.com", which I suspect is a strong believer in the idea that the entire world is conspiring to help Hamas bring terror over Israel, and whoever thinks otherwise is obviously promoting antisemitism.
    I thought /. was not about promoting a particular political agenda - even if it is thrown a thin "tech" veil...
    • Re:Billions? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bluegutang (2814641) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @10:17AM (#47593427)

      Well, the entire article is based off of verbatim quotes from "Aviad Dadon of Israeli cyber-security firm AdoreGroup", transcribed and translated from an interview on Israel Radio. It's not at all clear where Dadon gets his information. So, if you trust him, the article is reliable. If not, then no. The article may be correct, but it isn't exactly serious investigative journalism.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      If Hamas were funded with billions, they wouldn't need "terror tunnels" to smuggle food across the border with Egypt.

      Here's a good article about the tunnels:
      Inside the tunnels Hamas built: Israel's struggle against new tactic in Gaza war [theguardian.com]

      Three different kinds of tunnels existed beneath Gaza, said Eado Hecht, an Israeli defence analyst specialising in underground warfare: smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt; defensive tunnels inside Gaza, used for command centres and weapons storage; and --connected to the defensive tunnels --offensive tunnels used for cross-border attacks on Israel. The military says it has located about 32 to 35 offensive tunnels, of which more than half have been destroyed, and it believes that there are around 40 in total.

      The offensive tunnels have been dug by hand, as the use of machinery would risk detection. Military analysts estimate that each tunnel takes two to three years to complete, and costs millions of dollars.

      Destroying the tunnels is also a painstaking operation. "This is very dangerous work," said Hecht. "Firstly, locating the tunnel entrances is very difficult; they are needles in a haystack." Remote technology does not yet exist to locate and map tunnels deep underground, he said, hence the need for troops.

    • If Hamas were funded with billions, they would not be limited to firing 500-Euro worth DIY rockets [wikipedia.org]

      Your information is out of date, they now use Fajr-5 and Grad rockets [wikipedia.org], not the cheap Qassam rockets they used in 2006.

    • by guacamole (24270)

      Hamas uses only the weapons that it can smuggle into Gaza or what it can build itself.

    • by oldCoder (172195)
      The Times of Israel article doesn't say Hamas is funded with billions. It says Qatar spends that much on defense, some of which goes to Hamas.
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      If Hamas were funded with billions,

      Go look up the net worth of Arafat, and the other terrorist leaders. You'll quickly figure out where those billions of dollars go very quickly. And that's before they spend them on rockets from Iran...oh wait, that's probably a lie in your book right? Useful tip: Those cost upwards of 20k each, and they had 4k of them.

  • Bobby traps (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 03, 2014 @09:45AM (#47593249)

    I wasn't aware British police was active in Gaza.

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @09:50AM (#47593269)
    The United States and the former Soviet Union were renowned during the Cold War for testing new warfare technology in a foreign theatre. Israeli use of US military tech has been a proving ground for decades for new ways to deliver death and destruction.

    Although there's a measure of efficacy that can only be achieved in real time conflict, there's a downside.

    The technology is also exposed to your enemy, theoretically allowing different defense methods to be tested.

    • by sponga (739683)

      "new ways to deliver death and destruction"

      Normally I would agree with you but the iron dome is a completely self defensive weapons.

      Hamas using timers to set off rockets next to a civilians house is not something to be proud about or using remote cameras on their tunnels to watch incoming soldiers is not groundbreaking.

    • by guacamole (24270)

      New weapons are battle tested all the time. However, it's ridiculous to suggest that this conflict exists to test the weapons. Also, Israel has a pretty impressive domestic defense industry. A lot of latest and greatest weapons they use are home made.

  • by wheelbarrio (1784594) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @09:54AM (#47593297)
    That's not an article about the high tech warfare behind the Israel-Hamas conflict. It's an article about the alleged use of some pretty run-of-the-mill technology by one side (Hamas) with no reference to the actual sophisticated technology used by the other side (Israel). If the article in itself isn't necessarily so, the phrasing of the headline and the summary here is an attempt to portray this conflict as something other than the massively one-sided affair that it actually is. It's a whitewash pure and simple. I wish both sides would just stop killing each other but seriously, "cloud-based launching software"? So Hamas can launch unguided rockets without having to stand next to them. Sounds pretty nasty compared to sophisticated air defence, MBTs, total air superiority and massed artillery.
    • And also shows how Hamas are taking the moral high ground too... /s.

      And claiming that "desperation" justifies behaving like thugs, and launching those unguided POS bottle rockets by remote control at civilians is somehow justified... Just got to love those good old fashioned Islamic moral values...

    • by oldCoder (172195)
      We already knew Israel had a high-tech military. But who of us knew Hamas was going that way too?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 03, 2014 @09:56AM (#47593311)

    oh, please, just stop trying to justify what Israel is doing. They didn't even really know who actually killed those three people when they started bombing. They still don't know.

    • You make it sound like Israel's response to the murders was to start randomly bombing people. Israel's response to the kidnapping was to start making arrests and restricting access to Gaza as they searched for the kidnapped teenagers. Hamas started firing rockets. Israel retaliated with air strikes. By the time the bodies were found, the conflict was already in motion.

      • by Rockoon (1252108) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @07:23PM (#47595937)

        Israel's response to the kidnapping was to start making arrests and restricting access to Gaza

        So they got the people that did it then? oh... they were arresting people that didnt do it? yeah...

        What would the people in your county do if a government that didnt represent you were to go around "making arrests" and demanding "papers please" -- you should think about that awhile.

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @10:01AM (#47593337) Journal

    "Anyone who thinks they have dozens of people sitting next to launchers firing rockets each time there is a barrage is mistaken,"

    So let me see if I understand what you're saying: A bunch of guys who are at war set up a rocket launcher with a timer, then go away leaving it unguarded so that anyone can walk up to it and, oh, I don't know, shut it off, blow it up, steal it, etc.?

    Gimme a break.

  • by SpzToid (869795) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @10:07AM (#47593377)

    The summary says Qatar is worried of being attacked and overtaken in a technological arms race, by Saudi Arabia. Really? Since when?

    From TFA:

    Politics is behind Qatar’s willingness to pay for Hamas’ cyber-system. The Saudis believe that Qatar is behind efforts to unseat the Saudi royal family — using social media and the Al-Jazeera satellite channel — and Riyadh earlier this year recalled its ambassador to Doha, after he refused to pledge that it would “not interfere in others’ internal affairs,” according to Eli Aviad, who formerly headed Israel’s Economic Liaison office in Qatar.

    I'd like something a little more substantive to back this up. The paragraph concludes:

    While they are primarily interested in cyber self-defense, Aviad said, they are also interested in assisting their Muslim Brotherhood allies — and hence their willingness to fund the Hamas terror program. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Sorry, I gotta take any news value coming from TFA with a chunk of salt.

    • by oldCoder (172195)
      Just web search for 'Qatar vs Saudi Arabia' and you'll see over a billion results. Hot enough for you?
  • Sources? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wombatmobile (623057) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @10:13AM (#47593403)

    The sole source of information for the article is "Aviad Dadon of Israeli cyber-security firm AdoreGroup." Is that an independent source?

    What do most Americans know about the background [bit.ly] to the Israel Palestinian conflict, which has been going for 67 years?

    • by mpe (36238)
      What do most Americans know about the background to the Israel Palestinian conflict, which has been going for 67 years?

      That's as long as it could have gone on for. Considering Israel didn't exist prior to 1948. Though Zionist terrorist groups appear to have been active since the 1920's
      • Re:Sources? (Score:4, Funny)

        by rmdingler (1955220) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @03:11PM (#47594909)
        Don't stop me if you think you've heard this one before.

        There's a lady walking down the beach who finds a bottle, rubs it, and out pops a genie. "I know how this goes," she exclaims, "I get three wishes."

        "I'm afraid not, young lady. Due to inflationary constraints, you will only be afforded a single wish."

        Without hesitation, the woman pulls out a map of the Middle East to show the previously incarcerated genie. "I would like for there to be peace in this part of the World."

        The Genie pauses to scratch his chin. "These people have been at war for a very long time. I'm a highly skilled genie, but I'm not sure even I could pull that off. Is there something else I could do for you?"

        "Okay then," replies the young maiden, "I would like you to find me the man of my dreams. He must be sweet, honorable, enjoy shopping with me, never lie or cheat, be a perfect father for our beautiful children, and rather spend time with me than do anything else. He should be brave and sensitive, love my cat..."

        "Hold it right there," says the genie, "Let me see that map again."

    • by NoKaOi (1415755)

      The sole source of information for the article is "Aviad Dadon of Israeli cyber-security firm AdoreGroup." Is that an independent source?

      Of course. As we have seen here in the US, heads of intelligence organizations never lie. Even more so, heads of a corporation with a financial interest in conflict. Nope, they would never lie in a case like that to justify to a country's citizens a government giving it tons of money. Nope, it's totally 100% reliable.

    • by oldCoder (172195)
      There are no independent sources. I suppose we could imagine a super news organization that ran its own spy network. But on this planet, media get their information, especially on military matters, from the interested parties.
  • by grahamsaa (1287732) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @10:13AM (#47593407)
    Sure, I'm willing to believe that Hamas has some technology behind what they're doing, but it surely can't be anywhere near as advanced as what the IDF has. The Israel / Hamas conflict is about as mismatched as it would be if the US went to war with Bolivia. I'm sure if that happened, some people in the American press would point out that the Bolivians have rifles, while forgetting to mention that we have nuclear subs and airfraft carriers.
    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      yes its probably more cost-effective to make more crude rockets than to try and engage in a tech arms race with Israel - there also the q how tech savvy is the average Hamas fighter and would it make sense to risk those you do have at the front line when you can get any activist to carry a few rockets and fire them off via a command wire.
    • by oldCoder (172195)
      And if that Bolivia was between Mexico and the US, and kept on sending rockets, suicide bombers, and kidnappers, America would quickly get completely fed up and blast 'em to smithereens. Instead of 1700 dead there'd be 17,000. Or more. Arguments over news reporting would be a footnote.
  • Your ISP catches you stealing three videos or launching three rockets and you get cut off. Its right there in your Terms Of Service.

    Cloud-based, probably wireless command an control systems are pretty esy to rednedr useless by a technologically advanced enemy like Israel. Heck, just fire up a cell phone jammer.

  • I do feel that the Arabs are getting a raw deal in relation to the west and Israel there needs to be some really deep thinking going on. For example it is just dandy to have a timer and an auto launch ability on these small missiles but where does it lead? If one finds that most often the hostiles are not near the launch site the launch site will still be hit hard and probably some other place, perhaps randomly selected, in hope of getting the point across. Naturally hatred will result and
  • by Anonymous Coward

    How the hell did this piece of unsubstantiated propagandic crap make it into the Slashdot feed?

    Straight from a "reliable" Israeli source, no less.

    How about this one?

    Israeli military announce they will bomb al-Shifa hospital in Gaza [mondoweiss.net]

    The difference between those two stories? The second one is probably true, and it shows the true face of this conflict.

    Also, please remember who set up Hamas in the first place. (Hint: It wasn't Palestine.)

  • "networked, cloud-based launching software provided by Qatar which can set off a rocket from any distance, and set them to go off at a specific time, using timers"

    What's the difference between this and cell-phone activated stuff they've been using for years? (source: any war movie featuring IEDs)

    It's on the Internet.. and they've found out how to use TIME CLOCKS!?

  • Billions of pesos? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by future assassin (639396) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @11:29AM (#47593761) Homepage

    What kinds of utter BS propaganda is this?

    Did you know

    >>The military announced early Sunday that 23-year-old Hadar Goldin of the Givati infantry brigade had been killed in battle on Friday.

    So they bombed away and killed 35+ Palestinians on a lie. Buddy wasn't kidanpped he was killed in battle.

  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @11:42AM (#47593833)

    Not even a week ago: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline [slashdot.org]

    Hamas can't even power their social media campaign (i.e. their lifeblood) continuously, but we're supposed to believe they can coordinate rocket fire over the same internet while also deploying Aperture science into their tunnels?

    And this from an unnamed IDF contractor talking to a media outlet that has quite literally called for the genocide of Palestinians [google.com]?

    Good job, guys.

  • Propaganda (Score:4, Insightful)

    by biodata (1981610) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @12:35PM (#47594065)
    Mod this propaganda.
  • by X.25 (255792) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @04:03PM (#47595123)

    Hamas seems to recruit children really early, these days.

  • As war becomes more Tech vs Tech, slight technical advantages can snowball into huge military advantages. Especially if you can modify the actions of your enemies systems in real-time.
  • by Fencepost (107992) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @07:01PM (#47595851) Journal
    Some of the offices in the building I work in have "high-tech sensors" that tell them when the door opens inward by ringing a little bell. They're dangling pieces of metal that hit a momentary switch tied to a doorbell ringer. Are those the "high-tech" devices described in such detail in the article?
  • I know that will be bad for my karma but I find this stories' title disgusting.

    Indeed there is a war between Israel and Hamas, but at the same time, there is the genocide of Palestinian People by Israel. Most of the ones who die are not Hamas fighters. Their only crime was to live in a territory Israel considers its own. Reducing the conflict to the fight between Israel and Hamas is a petty trick to hide the genocide.

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