Horst D. Deckert

Israeli Drones Lure Palestinians With Crying Children Recordings Then Shoot Them


Locals report Israeli quadcopters drawing people out of their houses by playing sounds of women and children in distress.

Israeli quadcopters are employing a “bizarre” new tactic of playing audio recordings of crying infants and women in order to lure Palestiniansto locations where they can be targeted.

On Sunday and Monday night, residents of the northern parts of Gaza’s Nuseirat refugee camp woke up to the sounds of babies crying and women calling out for help.

When they went outside to locate the source of the cries and provide aid, Israeli quadcopters reportedly opened fire directly at them.

Samira Abu al-Leil, a resident of the refugee camp, told Middle East Eye that she heard Israeli quadcopters opening fire during and shortly after playing the recorded sounds, which lasted for several minutes and recurred multiple times on Monday night. 

“I heard a woman crying and screaming for help, saying, ‘Help me, my son was martyred’. The sounds were coming from the street and they were bizarre,” the 49-year-old said.

“Some men rushed out to the rescue, only to be shot by the quadcopters that kept roaming all night long.”

According to eyewitnesses, at least seven to 10 people were injured by the quadcopter fire overnight.

‘The injuries were serious: some were shot directly in the head’

– Resident of Nuseirat refugee camp

Residents were unable to help the victims, as the “quadcopters were firing at anything that moved”. However, an ambulance managed to reach the area and transport them to hospital.

“At night, the streets are usually empty and men are inside their homes,” Leil added. “When the quadcopters open fire, they only hit the roofs and streets, they don’t find any people to shoot. So they played these sounds because they know the nature of our society; they know that men were going to try to provide help. They wanted them to go out so that they could shoot them,” she said. 

“Yesterday and the night before, quadcopter bullets hit our roof, door and the street in front of our home. But yesterday morning, they fired some kind of explosive bombs with shrapnel that spreads everywhere on our neighbourhood, leaving many residents injured.”

Quadcopter attacks increasing

Quadcopters are remote-controlled drones that have been used extensively against Palestinian fighters and civilians in the Gaza Strip since 7 October. 

This technology is gradually replacing ground troops, aiding in target identification, individual targeting, and securing areas where Israeli soldiers are stationed.

Israeli drones are reported emitting sounds of crying children at al-Nuseirat camp in Gaza to target and shoot civilians searching for the source of the distress calls. pic.twitter.com/5w02CqYwqs

— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) April 16, 2024

Additionally, quadcopters can scout forward positions, target individuals within residences, and disperse crowds in public spaces.

A significant event involving the use of quadcopters occurred on 11 January when a large crowd waiting for food on al-Rasheed Street, near the Gaza City coastline, came under fire from the Israeli military. Numerous witnesses recounted quadcopters firing upon hundreds of individuals awaiting the arrival of aid trucks.

Muhammed Abu Youssef, 19, told MEE that at around 2am on Monday he heard the cries of babies. However, since people were posting on social media to raise awareness of the source of these sounds, he chose not to venture outside.

‘We did not go out, because we learned that these were only recordings played by the quadcopters to lure us to go out’

– Muhammed Abu Youssef, camp resident

“There were different sounds coming from the quadcopters. They were making noises; some recordings were comprehensible and some were not. They lasted for around 30 to 60 minutes, then the quadcopters started opening fire and firing bombs in the neighbourhood,” he said.

“We did not go out, because we learned that these were only recordings played by the quadcopters to lure us to go out.”

video recorded by a resident of Nuseirat refugee camp, and circulating on social media, showcased sounds of crying infants, while the resident explained that these were pre-recorded sounds played by Israeli quadcopters.

“Over the past three days, there have been at least 12 injuries due to quadcopter fire. This morning alone, we rescued six people who were wounded in the neighbourhood. The injuries were serious: some were shot directly in the head.”

According to the residents, the audio recordings also included songs in both Hebrew and Arabic, including children’s songs, sounds of clashes and moving tanks, voices of Palestinian armed men, and voices of local roaming vendors of cleaning products familiar to residents of Gaza.

For over a week, the Israeli army has been carrying out an intense military attack on the northwestern part of Nuseirat, targeting individuals, homes and neighbourhoods with artillery, aerial and naval shelling, as well as quadcopter gunfire.

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