Israel using sonic booms of jets as "nonlethal weapon" in Gaza

Noah Shachtman at Defensetech blogs, "[S]onic 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.

Here's the rest of Noah's post.

This BBC article — Medics condemn Gaza sonic booms — reports objections by the United Nations and medical groups.

Kathryn Cramer asks, "I wonder if some of the same effects mentioned in that article also are likely from 'Sonic Blasters'?"

Previously on Boing Boing:

Xeni on NPR, CNN: Sonic Weapons in Iraq — and now, US cities

Wired News story "Sonic 'Lasers' Head to Flood Zone"

Reported presence of long-range acoustic device (LRAD) at protests

Reader comment: Tijl says,

This has actually been a common tactic by the Israelis for a long while, mostly in the neighbouring country of Lebanon. 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. Let's not forget that Israel has a track record of actually hitting a lot of targets there as well.

One might wonder what Isreali jets were doing flying over another country in the first place, but this was so common usually it'd only lead to to small news snippits when it was more intense than usual (you really don't need an alarmclock in such weeks, actually like now the holidays seemed to have a special intrest). Oh, and sometimes another UN resolution, for the already impressive stack Israel keeps in a desk somewhere, saying it's really *really* naughty to do that.

Example of a link reporting this from 1998: Link

I guess they had those jets just standing around now, looking for something to do.