Israel Installs AI Machine Gun

Israel has installed a remote-control gun inside Hebron city in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. This is an AI-controlled gun put in place in a highly trafficked checkpoint that Palestinians are forced to pass through if they want to go to work, school, or any other daily activities such as visiting family.

As The Institute for Middle East Understanding points out, the gun can fire stun grenades, tear gas, and coated bullets at Palestinians, weapons that have seriously injured and even killed Palestinians in the past.

This machine has been manufactured by Israeli company Smart Shooter and it is being tested as part of a pilot scheme at Al-Shuhada Street checkpoint, highlights the Middle East Monitor. It is believed that this machine in Al-Shuhada Street checkpoint has already killed many people since the checkpoint gets used by more than 200 Palestinians daily.

 

According to the company Smart Shooter, a soldier can lock onto a target and press the trigger, with the gun then moving into the proper position before firing. 

A spokesperson for the Israeli occupation army told Haaretz that it is “examining the possibility of using remotely controlled systems for the employment of approved measures of crowd dispersal [which] does not include remote control of live gunfire.”

Hebron is a highly explosive area of conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. It is split into areas of Israeli and Palestinian Authority control and has a population of over 210,000 Palestinians and several hundred Israeli settlers living in enclaves. Especially in the Old City of Hebron, Palestinians are harassed daily by illegal settlers and occupation soldiers who aim to force them out to establish illegal Jew-only settlements.

Controlling everyday life

Other technologies the Israel Defence Forces have deployed in Hebron have also drawn scrutiny. Times of Israel recalls that in November 2020, former Israeli soldiers revealed they had photographed thousands of Palestinians to build a database for a sweeping facial recognition surveillance program in the southern West Bank city.

Some analysts have warned that we are witnessing the transition from human to technological control where Palestinians have become an object for training the high tech-industry of the Israeli army. Others point out that this remote-controlled gun comes after Google was found to be providing advanced AI and machine-learning capabilities to the Israeli government through its controversial “Project Nimbus” contract, states Middle East Monitor.

According to experts from the digital civil rights organization Access Now, Israel’s use of surveillance and facial recognition technology appears to be among the most elaborate by a country seeking to control a subject population.

Israel is not only using this kind of control, but it also controls daily life online. It is often, that the government removes content online that constitutes “incitement” or “causes harm” toward Israelis on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and websites. Through laws, it has managed to implement a true level of censorship online that can mainly send Palestinian activists or ordinary people to prison or fine them because of their posts.

 

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