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Euro-Med seeks probe into role of tech firms in Israeli killing of Gaza civilians

Palestinians in Rafah mourn their loved ones killed in the Israeli bombardment. (Photo by AP)

The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has said that the role of major technology companies and international social media platforms in the killing of Palestinian civilians by Israel in the besieged Gaza Strip must be investigated.

“These companies need to be held accountable if found to be complicit or not to have taken adequate precautions to prevent access to, and exploitation of, users’ information,” the Euro-Med said on Sunday.

The human rights group documented accounts of Palestinian civilians, who, as a consequence of their social media activity, have been singled out as suspects by Israel, despite having taken no military action.

The group noted that there are frequent reports that Israel uses a number of artificial intelligence-supported technological systems to illegally track and monitor Palestinians,

“Google and Israel are collaborating on several technology initiatives, including Project Nimbus, which provides the Israeli army with tools for the increased monitoring and illegal data collection of Palestinians, thereby broadening Israeli policies of denial and persecution, plus other crimes against the Palestinian people,” it said.

This project in particular has prompted significant criticism, driving dozens of company employees to protest and resign, with others being fired over their protests.

UN experts earlier this month said the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and related military directives by Israel in Gaza was leading to an unprecedented toll on the civilian population and infrastructure.

According to the experts, the systematic and widespread destruction of housing, services and civilian infrastructure represents a crime against humanity.

Widespread destruction in Gaza has put the concept of ‘domicide’ in focus in recent months. The concept is increasingly accepted in academia but is not a distinct crime against humanity under international law.

The UN special rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Francesca Albanese, recently described domicide, as well as numerous war crimes and acts of genocide in her report to the Human Rights Council.

Palestinians continue to endure a US-Israeli genocidal war in the besieged Gaza strip, the scene of death and destruction on a daily basis.

The ministry of health in Gaza reports that some 48 Palestinians were killed and 79 others were injured in Gaza in the past 24 hours.

 That brings up the total number of victims since October 7 to a staggering number of more than 34,000. Almost 77,000 others have also been wounded.

Hospitals in Gaza are lacking enough medicine and equipment to treat the wounded.

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