“Everything is intentional” – Israel’s “factory” of mass murder in Gaza
Disturbing revelations from Israeli intelligence and military officers given to Israeli media outlet +972 and The Guardian expose the decision-making system behind Israel’s ongoing #GazaGenocide.
Israel has killed more than 20,000 Palestinians in less than two months, counting the thousands still buried under the rubble of buildings and neighborhoods methodically flattened by Israel’s bombing of 2.3 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. The following shocking admissions by Israeli intelligence and military officers given to Israeli media outlet +972 reveal the nature of the cold-blooded decision-making system behind Israel’s ongoing #GazaGenocide against Palestinians. The intent cannot be clearer: maximum harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure to destroy life-sustaining conditions in Gaza.
Every strike on Gaza is planned, with Israeli intelligence estimating Palestinian civilian casualties with chilling precision. The intentional Israeli targeting of civilian homes and infrastructure aims to maximize harm, destroying the very fabric of life in Gaza.
Israeli intelligence officers estimate the number of Palestinian civilians who will be killed by each military strike on Gaza with relative precision. An intelligence officer admitted: “The numbers increased from dozens of civilian deaths [permitted] as collateral damage as part of an attack on a senior official in previous operations, to hundreds of civilian deaths as collateral damage.”
An intelligence officer said: “Nothing happens by accident. When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the [Israeli] army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.”
The Israeli military has significantly expanded its bombing of targets that are not distinctly military in nature, defining “high-rises and residential towers in the heart of cities, and public buildings such as universities, banks, and government offices” as “power targets.” The idea behind hitting such targets, say three intelligence sources who were involved in planning or conducting strikes on “power targets” in the past, is that such deliberate attacks on Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure will “create a shock” and exert “civil pressure” on Palestinian armed groups. Half of the strikes in the first five days of Israel’s #GazaGenocide was aimed at “power targets.”
One category of Israeli “military targets” consists of “family homes” or “operatives’ homes.” The stated purpose of these attacks is to destroy private homes in order to assassinate a single resident suspected of being an “operative” of an armed Palestinian organization, even if the person is not involved in any military activity, such as spokespersons. Palestinian testimonies show that many families killed did not include any “operatives” from these organizations.
An Israeli intelligence officer said that in its current war on Gaza, the Israeli military “can mark all the houses” of members of Palestinian armed groups. Even “members who don’t really matter for anything [militarily] live in homes across Gaza. So they mark the home and bomb the house and kill everyone there.” He explains, “That is a lot of houses.”
An Israeli officer said: “If they would tell the whole world that the [Islamic Jihad] offices on the 10th floor are not important as a target, but that its existence is a justification to bring down the entire high-rise with the aim of pressuring civilian families who live in it in order to put pressure on terrorist organizations, this would itself be seen as terrorism. So they do not say it.”
Intelligence sources told +972 that military targets that were part of “power targets” have previously been used many times as a fig leaf for harming the civilian population: “Hamas is everywhere in Gaza; there is no building that does not have something of Hamas in it, so if you want to find a way to turn a high-rise into a target, you will be able to do so.”
Another officer said that the Artificial Intelligence system, Habsora (the Gospel), used by the Israeli military to produce lists of hundreds of “targets” in Gaza daily enables the army to run a “mass assassination factory,” in which the “emphasis is on quantity and not on quality.” A human eye “will go over the targets before each attack, but it need not spend a lot of time on them.” Since Israel estimates that there are approximately 30,000 Hamas members in Gaza, and they are all marked for death, the number of potential targets is enormous.
Another Israeli intelligence officer confirms: “It really is like a factory. We work quickly and there is no time to delve deep into the target. The view is that we are judged according to how many targets we manage to generate.”
Yuval Avraham, the Israeli investigative journalist who has conducted these interviews, explains: “The result of these policies is the staggering loss of human life in Gaza since October 7. Over 300 families have lost 10 or more family members in Israeli bombings in the past two months — a number that is 15 times higher than the figure from what was previously Israel’s deadliest war on Gaza, in 2014.”
Underlining the value of Israel’s “field-testing” of military technologies and doctrines against Palestinians, a former White House security official familiar with the US military’s own use of AI systems told The Guardian: “Other states are going to be watching and learning” from Israel’s use of “AI in a significant way to make targeting choices with life-and-death consequences.”