ISRAEL - World’s First AI War

Arno Froese

Having relied heavily on machine learning, the Israeli military is calling Operation Guardian of the Walls the first artificial-intelligence war.

Soldiers in Unit 8200, an Intelligence Corps elite unit, pioneered algorithms and code that led to several new programs called “Alchemist,” “Gospel” and “Depth of Wisdom,” which were developed and used during the fighting.

Collecting data using signal intelligence (SIGINT), visual intelligence (VISINT), human intelligence (HUMINT), geographical intelligence (GEOINT) and more, the IDF has mountains of raw data that must be combed through to find the key pieces necessary to carry out a strike.

“For the first time, a multidisciplinary center was created that produces hundreds of targets relevant to developments in the fighting, allowing the military to continue to fight as long as it needs to with more and more new targets,” a senior officer said.

The IDF carried out hundreds of strikes against Hamas and PIJ, including rocket launchers, rocket manufacturing, production and storage sites, military intelligence offices, drones, commanders’ residences and Hamas’s naval commando unit. Israel has destroyed most of the naval commando unit’s infrastructure and weaponry, including several autonomous GPS-guided submarines that can carry 30 kg. of explosives.

One strike, against senior Hamas operative Bassem Issa, was carried out with no civilian casualties despite being in a tunnel under a high-rise building surrounded by six schools and a medical clinic. Issa, a brigade commander for Gaza City, was the highest-ranking military figure in Hamas to be killed by Israel since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

In an interview with Channel 12, the head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza, Matthias Schmale, acknowledged that while the “viciousness and ferocity of the strikes was heavily felt,” he had “the impression that there is a huge sophistication in the way the Israeli military struck.”, 27 May 2021

Arno's Commentary

Tanks, cannons, and boots on the ground are more and more being delegated to the history books. So-called artificial intelligence (AI) played a decisive part during the recent 11-day war against Hamas in Gaza.

The advantage for the future is quite obvious: only Israel has the experience using the latest technology—in this case, artificial intelligence—to effectively pinpoint military targets. 

We must also emphasize Israel’s official policy was and is to warn residents of buildings about an imminent attack, giving sufficient time to evacuate. Hamas, on the other hand, operates in a diametrically opposed way: send rockets toward civilian targets without warning, with the publicly declared intention to kill Jews no matter who they are.

Reading and hearing international news, the emphasis is always on Palestinian casualties, of which some are civilians; they rarely mention that Hamas deliberately targets civilians. 

Doubtless, Israel’s experience will be extremely valuable for the next confrontation with terrorist entities.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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