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Israel Developing Bionic Arsenal

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Nov 17, 2006
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given the green light for Israel to set up a special office to develop a nanotechnology arsenal, the leading Hebrew daily reported on Friday. Yediot Aharonot said that Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres had been told to choose 15 top thinkers to focus on developing futuristic weaponry. The 15 would be selected from within the security establishment, the world of hi-tech and academia.

If their projects succeed, they will provide Israel with a response to the various threats from Palestinian rockets, suicide bombers, to long-range missiles and non-convential weapons, the daily said.

Peres has recently hinted in public lectures at a small number of secret developments, Yediot added, such as "pearls of wisdom" -- tiny sensors that can be scattered on enemy territory.

A so-called "intelligence wasp" or mini drone that can squeeze into narrow alleys, jam communications, photograph intelligence targets and even kill militants, was another, the daily reported.

A third project would be anti-suicide bomber sensors that can be installed in public places and apparently able to spot a bomber, based on scent, heat and weight.

Israel, along with Britain and the United States, are considered leading countries in the field of nanotechnology research.

Following Israel's war in Lebanon this summer, Peres, in Britian's The Guardian newspaper, advocated a new focus on technologies, including "miniaturised arms or ... remote-control robots operating on the battlefield".

Israel lost around 120 soldiers in its offensive in Lebanon and conflict with Hezbollah, drawing heavy domestic criticism against both its military and political leaders.

At least 1,140 Lebanese civilians -- 30 percent of them children under 12 -- were killed along with 43 army and police troops in the month-long offensive that ended on August 14, Lebanon's High Relief Committee said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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