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UN experts denounce use of purported AI to commit 'domicide' in Gaza

April 15, 2024 at 2:48 pm

Palestinians inspect the destroyed buildings after the Israeli attack on Al-Maghazi refugee camp as Israeli attacks continue in Gaza City, Gaza on April 15, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

The UN experts, on Monday, deplored the use of purported AI and related military directives by Israel in Gaza, causing damage to civilian structures and services, Anadolu Agency reports.

“If proven true, the shocking revelations of the use of AI systems by the Israeli military such as ‘Gospel’, ‘Lavender’ and ‘Where’s Daddy?’, combined with lowered human due diligence to avoid or minimise civilian casualties and infrastructure, contribute to explaining the extent of the death toll and home destruction in Gaza,” the experts said in a statement.

The experts underscored that more than 15,000 deaths, almost half of all civilian deaths so far, occurred during the first six weeks after 7 October, “when AI systems seem to have been largely relied upon for target selection”.

“We are especially concerned about the alleged use of AI to target ‘family homes’ of suspected Hamas operatives, typically at night when they sleep, with unguided munitions known as ‘dumb’ bombs, with little regard for civilians who may be in or around that home,” they said.

READ: US looking at report that Israel used AI to identify bombing targets in Gaza 

Flouting the International Court of Justice’s provisional ruling, Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip, killing 33,797 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 76,465 others since 7 October, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas, which Tel Aviv says killed nearly 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85 per cent of the Territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe.

Death by Algorithm: Israel’s AI War in Gaza