Hebron Palestinian facial recognition surveillance

Released: November 2020

Can you improve this page?
Share your insights with us

The use of facial recognition and other AI tools and techniques by Israel's defence forces to monitor Palestinians violates their basic rights, according to a new 82-page report by human rights organisation Amnesty.

Israel has been found to be using AI-based surveillance technologies including 'Red Wolf', a facial recognition system installed at checkpoints which automatically identifies Palestinians, and 'Blue Wolf', a smartphone-based facial recognition tool rolled out late 2020 that performs much the same function across Hebron and east Jerusalem. 

The two systems link to 'Wolf Pack', a database containing profiles of Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, including photographs, family histories, education, and security ratings. Worlf Pack enables Israeli soldiers to identify and detain Palestinians before they have presented their ID cards, and allows Israel to 'consolidate existing practices of discriminatory policing, segregation, and curbing freedom of movement,' Amnesty says.

In November 2021, the Washington Post reported the existence of the 'Wolf Pack' and 'Blue Wolf' systems, suggesting they may form part of 'Hebron Smart City', a broader real-time system comprising closed-circuit TV, computer vision, and movement sensors that tracks Palestinians across the city and, according to a former IDF soldier, in their homes. 

Hebron Smart City also reputedly includes 'White Wolf', an app used by security officials in West Bank settlements to identify Palestinians before they enter 'illegal' settlements to work.

Operator: Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
Country: Israel; Palestine
Sector: Govt - defence; Govt - security; Govt - police
Purpose: Identify & track Palestinians
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Privacy; Surveillance
Transparency: Governance; Privacy

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: November 2021
Last updated: November 2023