May 21, 2024 11:07 pm

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Israel utilizes artificial intelligence in warfare against Gaza


GAZA, Palestine—The Israeli military has begun to use artificial intelligence in its relentless assault of the Gaza strip where its forces have struck at least 22,000 targets since it besieged the territory in retaliation for the Hamas-led terrorist attacks on October 7.

The artificial intelligence system is called “the Gospel” and is used to select targets in real time by identifying enemies and “reducing civilian casualties,” the military says, giving a tremendous upper hand compared to militaries who use human analysts to manually sift through intelligence reports.

Gospel essentially works the same way as a human analyst but at about 50-times faster. Its efficiency, however, is another question.

Heidy Khlaaf, Engineering Director of AI Assurance at Trail of Bits, a technology security firm,  told NPR Reporters last month that most AI algorithms are “notoriously flawed with high error rates observed across applications that require precision, accuracy, and safety.”

The death toll of Palestinian citizens crept to 17,487 last month leaving some experts questioning whether the system is merely a technological justification for civilian casualties.

By comparison, about 1,200 Israelis were killed during the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel on October 7 – the most Jews killed during a single day in the country’s history. About 170 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since Israel have retaliated, according to Israeli military officials.

Militaries have been experimenting with artificial intelligence for a good part of the last decade. Israel began developing their Gospel system after the 11-day war between Hamas and Israel back in 2021.

According to the Israeli government’s website, artificial intelligence was used to locate hundreds of kilometers of Hamas metro tunnels, and also detect missile launchers, destroying them before they fire. Over 100 missile launchers have been located and destroyed with half of them being located through this technology. The military located Hamas metro tunnels through anchoring what they call “Unit 9900” which enables visual analysis through drones, photographic forays, and dedicated sensors.

Hamas has been using these tunnels for transportation, hiding, and storage for weapons. According to the Jerusalem Post, the IDF located and subsequently destroyed several of these tunnels hidden beneath the Blue Beach Hotel in the northern part of the Gaza Strip on January 5.

Hamas terrorists had been using the hotel as shelter while they managed tactics and organized attacks, the post continued.

Many experts agree that Israel’s use of AI could pave the way for a new future in tactical warfare.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas led a series of coordinated attacks against Israel — on a Sabbath day and date of many Jewish holidays — killing over 1,000 Jewish civilians and approximately 350 Israeli soldiers. Approximately 3,000 Palestinian militants infiltrated Israel from Gaza using trucks, powered paragliders, bulldozers, and speedboats, opening fire on Israeli civilians and setting homes on fire. Additionally, Hamas took approximately 200 Israeli hostages, approximately 30 of which were children. That day was the largest number of Jews killed on a single day since the Holocaust.

At least 44 nations considered the attack an act of terrorism but Hamas, and many Arab nations, blamed Israel saying the attack was provoked by Jewish settlements in the West Bank and in Gaza.

In response, Israel declared a state of emergency and preparedness for war pledging the destruction of the military and governmental capabilities of “Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” The Israeli military urged civilians living in Gaza to flee on October 17 and led an airstrike on October 31 before troops and tanks poured in. At least 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza as of November 13, according to the Washinton Post.

Additionally, at least 37 journalists have been killed while covering the conflict making October the deadliest month of journalists since the Committee to Protect Journalists began tracking data.

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