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The Israeli military’s airstrikes in Gaza were carried out using a previously undisclosed AI-driven database named Lavender. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“For civilian men marked in error by Lavender, there was no supervising mechanism in place to detect the mistake.”

The Israeli military’s airstrikes in Gaza were carried out using a previously undisclosed AI-driven database named Lavender, which reportedly identified 37,000 targets on their apparent and unverified links to Hamas, the Israeli-Palestinian publication +972 Magazine revealed on Wednesday, citing Israeli intelligence sources.

According to the report, these sources also revealed that Israeli military officials allowed significant civilian casualties, especially in the early weeks and months of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, which started on October 7.

One intelligence officer is quoted as saying that “this is unparalleled, in my memory”. The officer further explained that “they had more faith in a ‘statistical mechanism’ than a grieving soldier.

“Everyone there, including me, lost people on October 7. The machine did it coldly. And that made it easier,” the officer reportedly said.

Another source explained that the significance of human involvement in the target selection process was practically irrelevant. 

“I would invest 20 seconds for each target at this stage, and do dozens of them every day. I had zero added-value as a human, apart from being a stamp of approval. It saved a lot of time,” the officer was reported as saying.

In practice, the report explained, “this meant that for civilian men marked in error by Lavender, there was no supervising mechanism in place to detect the mistake.”

“We only checked that (the target) was a man, that was enough,” an officer is quoted as saying. “It doesn’t take a long time to tell if someone has a male or a female voice.” 

‘Where’s Daddy?’

According to the investigation, “the next stage in the Israeli army’s assassination procedure is identifying where to attack the targets that Lavender generates.”

Despite official claims by the Israeli army that the unprecedented death toll among the civilian population was due to the fact that Hamas “uses the civilian population as human shields and conducts fighting from within civilian structures”, the officers revealed a different reason.

“In contrast to the Israeli army’s official statements, the sources explained that a major reason for the unprecedented death toll from Israel’s current bombardment is the fact that the army has systematically attacked targets in their private homes, alongside their families,” the report stated.

The system, according to the sources, automatically linked “individuals to family houses,” using softwares that “track thousands of individuals simultaneously, identify when they are at home, and send an automatic alert to the targeting officer, who then marks the house for bombing.”

One of these programs, according to the report, is called ‘Where’s Daddy?’

“The sources said that in the first two weeks of the war, ‘several thousand targets were initially inputted into locating programs like Where’s Daddy?,” the report said, adding that the lists did not only include Hamas members but was “drastically expanded.”

“In the end it was everyone. Tens of thousands,” one source is reported as saying. 

‘Dumb Bombs’

Three Israeli intelligence sources told +972 and Local Call that “junior operatives marked by Lavender were assassinated only with dumb bombs, in the interest of saving more expensive armaments.”

This meant that “if a junior target lived in a building with only a few floors, the army was authorized to kill him and everyone in the building with a dumb bomb.”

The “collateral damage” caused by these indiscriminate bombings, was not a concern for the Israeli military.

According to an officer named A., “the army’s international law department has never before given such ‘sweeping approval’ for such a high collateral damage degree.”

“It’s not just that you can kill any person who is a Hamas soldier, which is clearly permitted and legitimate in terms of international law,” A. reportedly said, adding: “They directly tell you: ‘You are allowed to kill them along with many civilians.’ 

According to the sources, the decrease in this kind of operations is partly due to American pressure but also to a ‘munitions economy’ policy. 

“They were always afraid that there would be (a war) in the northern arena (with Hezbollah in Lebanon). They don’t attack these kinds of (junior) people at all anymore,” the officer reportedly said.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,037 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,668 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

 The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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