Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

August 7, 2022

Elbit: Merchants of death and surveillance in Palestine and the Tohono O'odham Nation

Photos: Killed in the past 48 hours in Gaza: -Alaa Qaddoum, 5, Ahmad Alnairab, 11, Momen Alnairab, 5, Mohammed Hassouna, 14, Khalil Abu Hamads, 17, and Hazem Salem, 12. Surveillance tower on western Tohono O'odham Nation, photo copyright Ofelia Rivas. A vehicle of the U.S. Border Patrol. Agents can now view live video on their laptops on the Tohono O'odham Nation from Elbit's spy towers in traditional remote O'odham communities.

Elbit Systems: 48 Hours of Death and Stalking

Elbit: Merchants of death and surveillance in Palestine and the Tohono O'odham Nation

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News
August 7, 2022
French translation by Christine Prat

This is what Elbit Systems' weapons and surveillance did in the past 48 hours -- murdered six Palestinian children, including a five-year-old girl and two brothers, and terrified children during Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

Elbit, an Israeli defense contractor, which provides Israel with weaponized drones, also provided surveillance from its spy towers -- built on O'odham burial places, on the Tohono O'odham Nation -- to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Now, U.S. Border Patrol agents can stalk vulnerable O'odham women and children, within the Tucson sector where Border Patrol agents have been arrested for serial rape.

Elbit's spy towers on the Tohono O'odham Nation

Gu-Vo, in the westernmost district of the Tohono O'odham Nation, opposed the spy towers prior to their construction.

"The Gu-Vo District opposes these proposed tower sites to protect cultural sites on the holy mountain now called the Ajo Mountain Range. The mountain holds human remains of our people and also places of our cultural practices (medicine bundles) home and home of the ceremonial deer and bighorn sheep and mountain tortoises that are protected under the Endangered Species Act."

"The United States government military forces, the border patrol, have not been forthcoming with impact information, such as health effects and have deliberately misinformed the people regarding the immediate environmental impacts such as the roads they will build on the mountain and installation of electrical power lines to the sites as well as that these proposed tower sites will have a 25-year or longer impact on the mountain, the animal and plant life and the O'odham lives."

"The Gu-Vo District communities landscape has already been greatly impacted by numerous unauthorized roads and destruction of our mountains and hills of great significance to the O'odham way of life. Our future generations will face more restrictions to live on our original lands as our rights as original Indigenous peoples continue to deteriorate."

"These U.S. proposed towers also are not on the border but in our communities and on the border of the Tohono O'odham Nation reiterating discrimination and deliberate attack on the O'odham," said Gu-Vo District.

Ofelia Rivas, O'odham living on the border and founder of O'odham VOICE Against the Wall, describes the him'dag, way of life.

"The O’odham way of life is based on the land that has held the remains of our ancestors since the creation of this world. The O’odham did not migrate from anywhere according to our oral history. Our creation tellings record our history and teach the O’odham principles of life. The survival of O’odham today is based in our him’dag."

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