Occupied West Bank (QNN)- Israeli forces have been carrying a campaign to extensively take photos of Palestinians in the West Bank for a facial recognition database that is being used to monitor Palestinians.
A new investigative report by the Washington Post published on Monday, revealed that over the last two years, Israeli soldiers began to use a facial recognition smartphone technology called Blue Wolf to take pictures of Palestinians’ faces and cross-reference them against a database of other photos. The app then alerts the soldier whether individuals should be detained based on prior information about them.
In order to create a database, Israeli soldiers took photos of Palestinians and competed with one another over the number of pictures that they took. It is thought that the database contains thousands of photos, the Post stated.
The Post’s report depended on testimonies by Israeli soldiers and information by Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli army veterans that exposes army abuses committed in the occupied territories.
The report added that Israeli forces had installed facial recognition cameras in military checkpoints in occupied Hebron. The cameras are part of a broader network of closed-circuit television cameras known as Hebron Smart City, which according to an ex-soldier, also tracks Palestinians in their homes.
The surveillance network also includes White Wolf, an app that had been previously disclosed and that is used by security officials in West Bank settlements to provide identification information about Palestinians before they enter settlements to work.