Israel Habsora 24-hour automated 'target factory' kills Palestinian women, children

Occurred: October 2023-

Israel's army has been using an AI-automated system to identify bomb targets and calculate likely non-military collateral deaths in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of high numbers of Palestinian woman and children.

An investigation by Israel-based +972 Magazine and Local Call revealed that Israel's armed forces used an AI-powered system named Habsora (aka The Gospel) to generate potential bombing targets during the Israel-Hamas war, and to calculate the number of people living in or close the same building who were likely to be killed by a strike on the target.

In one instance, Israel's military command 'knowingly' approved the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in an attempt to assassinate a single top Hamas military commander, according to the investigation.

The Israel Defence Forces' (IDF) use of Habsora is also thought to have helped it to expand its bombing campaign to non-military 'power targets' such as private residences, public buildings, and high-rise blocks, current and former Israeli intelligence sources told +972. In this way, its use contributed significantly to the high number of civilians killed, injured, and displaced.

According to Palestinians speaking to +972, the IDF 'also attacked many private residences where there was no known or apparent member of Hamas or any other militant group residing ... knowingly kill[ing] entire families in the process.'

System 🤖

Operator: Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
Country: Israel
Sector: Govt - defence
Purpose: Identify bomb targets; Estimate civilian deaths
Technology: Computer vision; Machine learning
Issue: Ethics; Lethal Autonomous Weapons  
Transparency: Governance

Investigations, assessments, audits 🧐