Regular Defense Tech readers know that sonic weapons are slowly starting to be used by the American and Israeli militaries to disperse crowds with defeaning noise. But here's a tactic in the sound war that I hadn't heard of before: Israeli jets, letting off sonic booms over the Gaza strip.
The removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip opened the way for the military to use air force jets to create dozens of sonic booms by breaking the sound barrier at low altitude, sending shockwaves across the territory...Palestinians liken the sound to an earthquake or huge bomb. They describe the effect as being hit by a wall of air that is painful on the ears, sometimes causing nosebleeds and "leaving you shaking inside."The Palestinian health ministry says the sonic booms have led to miscarriages and heart problems. The UN has demanded an end to the tactic, saying it causes panic attacks in children."Israel has long used sonic booms to rattle Palestinians in times of tension and violence," Ha'Aretz notes. "The booms can be mistaken for one of the frequent missile attacks aimed at militants or weapons factories."Israeli kibutzniks living near Gaza are just as spooked by the booms as the Palestinians. The children are scared because they dont understand, but the adults are also afraid, one tells Ynetnews. We are trying to continue with the daily routine, but it is very unpleasant to live like this.The Guardian adds that the IDF "was forced to apologize after one of the sonic booms was unintentionally heard hundreds of kilometers inside Israel last week."THERE'S MORE: "This has actually been a common tactic by the Israelis for a long while, mostly in the neighbouring country of Lebanon," one reader tells Xeni. "This includes mock divebombing runs, and sometimes even firing live ammo. There's also the danger of windows being blown out. And I must say, even if you're on the other end of a phone somewhere in another country, it still scares the shit out of you."(Big ups: JQP)