Once more, the Israeli Air Force’s bombardment of Gaza is being questioned.
Social media users have posted videos allegedly depicting Israel launching Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective (SPICE) bombs on crowded areas.
The Wall Street Journal revealed in November that the United States intended to send $320 million worth of precision bombs to Israel.
This event coincides with an intensifying onslaught by Hamas into southern Gaza, in which Israeli troops are engaged in heavy combat.
In order to escape Israeli shelling, tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians who had been forced to flee have crowded into a city near the Egyptian border.
But these “SPICE bombs”—what are they? What is the debate about them all about?
Let’s investigate more closely:
Details of SPICE bomb
One kind of precision-guided weaponry dropped by jets are called SPICE bombs.
Rafael USA is a weapons manufacturer, and these are bombs.
Israeli Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is the company’s owner.
They carry out autonomous mid-course navigation using the inertial navigation system/global positioning system (INS/GPS) and sophisticated electro-optical guidance.
“The highly sophisticated and combat-proven SPICE Guidance Kits address the needs of today’s increasingly complex battlefields,” reads the Rafael website. They transform general purpose and penetration warheads weighing 1000 and 2000 pounds into precise stand-off strike weapons that can launch simultaneous attacks in an area where GPS is unavailable.
How are SPICE bombs operated?
The unguided bomb’s head has a camera attached to it, and its end has a fin. These are the two components of the SPICE bombs, according to India Today.
All target data, including GPS coordinates and satellite imagery, is loaded into the SPICE bomb’s memory chip before to the mission. After that, the fragments are affixed to the unguided bombs.
Bombs are subsequently dropped by the planes at a predetermined location.
Now, the SPICE bomb guides itself to the target by combining images from the camera with data from the chip.
According to Eurasian Times, the SPICE-2000, when equipped with a bomb weighing 900 kg, may produce a weapon that is so lethal that it can even breach “hardened” targets such as weapons storage facilities.
These bombs, according to Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, can allow for “fully autonomous attack missions with pinpoint accuracy,” as reported by Business Insider.
They claim an error probability of fewer than three metres, making them extremely precise.
During its airstrike against Balakot, Pakistan, on February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force deployed SPICE smart bombs.
The Indian pilots reportedly dropped at least five of these bombs on their targets, according to Eurasian Times.
According to Business Insider, Marc Garlasco, who oversaw UN war crimes investigations in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, the technique is helpful in conflict areas without GPS.
What is the contentious issue?
A structure hit by a SPICE 2000 bomb is expected to be completely destroyed and leave no survivors.
Concerns over collateral harm have been voiced by experts in Gaza.
“There will be certain concerns about collateral effects, particularly widespread collateral effects, when you’re talking about a densely populated area like Gaza,” Garlasco stated. He went on, “That’s pretty much instant death.”
According to Brian Castner of Amnesty International’s Citizen Evidence Lab, using explosive weapons in inhabited areas can be problematic due to their wide-ranging consequences, as Business Insider reported.
Castner continued, “Even if Israel finds and strikes an intended target, the surrounding damage that they do, either to civilians or to infrastructure, is much greater with a larger weapon.”
According to data from Gaza health officials judged credible by the UN, Israel’s military action in Gaza has killed around 15,800 Palestinians, many of them youngsters.
In November, the UN declared that Gaza is turning into a “graveyard for children.”
The UN human rights commissioner issued a dire warning in Geneva, stating that there was a “apocalyptic” potential of grave rights breaches.
In order “to address the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza and minimise civilian casualties,” leaders of the Group of Seven nations—among which the United States is a key friend of Israel—called for additional humanitarian truces.
A proposal sponsored by the United Arab Emirates was presented to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, calling for a “immediate humanitarian ceasefire.” A vote is scheduled for this Friday.
According to Israel’s count, on October 7, Hamas fighters launched a surprise attack on Israeli towns, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 captives. In response, Israel launched its military campaign.