The targets bombed by the occupation army in Gaza are provided by artificial intelligence without taking into account the civilian casualties and their number (French)

The Israeli war on Gaza is described as the most brutal battle of the century, with the number of Palestinian martyrs at the time of writing exceeding 17,47 and the number of wounded reaching about <>,<>.

According to a joint report conducted by the magazine "972+" and the Israeli website Local Call, which relied on the testimonies of seven current and former members of Israeli intelligence, in addition to Palestinian testimonies, data and information, there are several reasons behind this frightening number of victims, most notably the unleashing of artificial intelligence systems in the selection of targets.

Before proceeding to detail the artificial intelligence systems adopted by Israel in this and previous wars, we briefly review Israel's strategy that changed the rules of engagement and escaped the hand of its air force to destroy Gaza Dhaka and bomb and kill it.

Israeli occupation soldiers identify targets inside the Gaza Strip (Reuters)

Four goals

From the first moment after the October 7 attack, Israeli policymakers openly declared that the response would be of a very different magnitude than previous military operations in Gaza, with the stated goal of eliminating Hamas exactly as they claim.

Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said on October 9, "The focus is on damage, not accuracy," and the military quickly translated those statements into action.

According to sources who spoke to +972 and Local Call, the targets set by the Israeli army command and bombed by aircraft in Gaza can be divided into four categories:

The first category was called "tactical targets" and included military objectives such as armed elements, weapons depots, rocket launchers, command posts, observation posts, and the like.

The second category is "underground targets," which are the tunnels used by Hamas, and the airstrikes that targeted it led to the collapse of houses above or near the tunnels. (See the following video showing Israeli aircraft targeting sites in Gaza)

The third category, called "power targets," includes high-rise buildings and residential towers in the heart of cities, and public buildings such as universities, banks and government offices. The idea behind striking such targets, according to three intelligence sources involved in planning or carrying out the strikes, "generated discontent and pressure toward Hamas from civilians."

The fourth category, "family homes" or "activists' homes", was a major reason for the dangerously high death toll: according to sources, Israeli forces, in order to destroy the house of a Hamas member located inside a multi-story residential building, destroyed the entire building.

The IDF spokesperson stated on October 11 that during the first five days of fighting, half of the targets struck (1329,2687 out of a total of <>,<>) were considered force targets.

The report quoted a number of sources within the Israeli army as saying that the IDF has files on most of the targets being bombed in Gaza, including the number of civilians living in each building, and advance information on the number of casualties caused by the bombing.

Sources recount that on one occasion, the Israeli military leadership agreed to the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in an attempt to assassinate a senior Hamas military commander.

Ghost system enables military to run a "mass assassination factory" that focuses on quantity rather than quality (French)

Artificial Intelligence in the Gaza War

In recent years, Israel has tended to bolster its military arsenal with artificial intelligence systems. As is well known to specialists, the mainstay of the work of these systems is several things, the most important of which is "data". Israel has a wealth of information thanks to spyware, satellites, its hijacking of mobile operators, as well as facial recognition and biometric systems at Israeli crossings.

Another important thing about AI systems is the accurate and sophisticated algorithms that translate that data into decisions.

As for the accuracy of the algorithms, it depends on the conditions set by the programmers, and in the current war (2023), the conditions that were previously in force, which are the amount of victims allowed when carrying out any targeting, which are five people, have been removed. Israel used an artificial intelligence system called gospel (literally translated as "Bible"), whose algorithms removed the requirements for the number of victims.

In other words, the system's job is to generate targets after the data is interrupted and delivered to the air force or drones regardless of the expected number of casualties. Another condition removed from the work of the algorithms is the rank of the target person, as previously Israel targeted leaders, but this "Bible" system does not differentiate the house of a leader or fighter, and as long as the number of members of the Qassam Brigades is between 30 and 40 thousand members, imagine the amount of targets expected to be bombed and the size of civilian casualties resulting from this bombing.

According to interviews with the British newspaper The Guardian, the Goosbel system generates a target bank of 100 targets per day, while Israeli intelligence has been accomplishing 50 targets per year.

According to figures released by the Israeli military last November, during the first 35 days of the war, Israel attacked 15,2014 targets in Gaza, a much higher number than previous military operations in the region. Compared to the 51-day 5000 war, the IDF struck between 6000,<> and <>,<> targets.

One former intelligence officer explained that the Goosbel system enables the military to run a "mass assassination factory" where "the focus is on quantity and not on quality."

In 2019, the IDF established a new center that uses artificial intelligence to speed up the process of generating targets (Reuters)

Artificial Intelligence in War

Artificial intelligence companies in Israel have made significant profits since its inception, using citizens in Gaza and the West Bank as a testing ground for the programs they design.

For example, in 2013, graduates of Israel's military intelligence sector designed a map app called Waze, which they tested on West Bank residents and acquired by Google the same year for $1.3 billion.

The use of IDF AI systems began in Israel in 2019, and the IDF has established a new center aimed at using AI to speed up the process of generating targets.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said in an in-depth interview with the Israeli website Ynet at the time: "The new target generation division is a unit of hundreds of officers and soldiers, and relies on artificial intelligence capabilities."

The first product of that unit was the Fire Factory programme, whose mission was to generate targets, determine appropriate quantities of ammunition, and propose a timetable for air strikes, with collateral damage required for each operation not exceeding five civilians.

To test Fire Factory's capabilities, Bloomberg reports that in 2021, the Israeli military described the 11-day bombing of Gaza as the world's first "artificial intelligence war" and noted its use of the program to identify targets and deploy drones.

Israeli march hovers over Gaza Strip (Reuters)

Despite Israel's boast about the accuracy of the work of these systems, what the current battles have revealed proved what experts have warned about the danger of integrating intelligence systems into weapons and using them in battle.

Katherine Connolly, a researcher at Stop Killer Robots, said: "Any change in software could make those systems and weapons not become semi-autonomous, but become completely autonomous in decision-making.

Anthony Lowenstein, a freelance journalist and author of The Palestinian Lab, who lived in East Jerusalem from 2016 to 2020, said: "The AI claim was about targeting people more successfully, but what we see of targeting is completely inaccurate; there are large numbers of civilians dying. A third of homes in Gaza have been destroyed. This is not an accurate targeting."

Source : Al Jazeera