Palestine Government

At Gaza Fence, Violence Fades as Israel Warns of Broader Response

NYT > Middle East

Palestinian health officials said 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire and more than 750 hit by live rounds Friday, making it the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 cross-border war between Israel and Hamas. In Friday's confrontations, large crowds gathered near the fence, with smaller groups of protesters rushing forward, throwing stones and burning tires. Israeli troops responded with live fire and rubber-coated steel pellets, while drones dropped tear gas from above. Gen. Ronen Manelis, said that while thousands of Palestinians approached the border Friday, those engaged in stone-throwing were in the hundreds. General Manelis denied soldiers used excessive force, saying those killed by Israeli troops were men between the ages of 18 and 30 who were involved in violence and belonged to militant factions.

Hamas: Mossad assassinated Tunisian drone-maker member

Al Jazeera

Hamas has blamed the Israeli national intelligence agency Mossad for the assassination of one of its Tunisian members after conducting an 11-month-long investigation.

Gaza Dating Site Matches Widows to Men Seeking 2nd (or 3rd) Wife

NYT > Middle East

Its founder knows his demographic well: residents of the religiously conservative Gaza Strip, with its culture of resistance. Some 1,400 men have been killed in the three wars with Israel since 2008, leaving many widows who would like to remarry. Tradition, however, can make it difficult for them to wed single men. Mr. Abu Mustafa, 34, a math teacher, said he had no specific reasons to get married again, but said he did wish to give "dignity" to a widow. Ms. Abu Mustafa's first husband died during the conflict between Hamas and Israel in 2012.

ISIS, Hezbollah seen using weaponized drones, raising new fears in Syria - Video shows bloodied Syrian girl crying out for help after deadly airstrikes

FOX News

WASHINGTON – Insurgent groups like Hezbollah and the Islamic State group have learned how to weaponize surveillance drones and use them against each other, adding a new twist to Syria's civil war, a U.S. military official and others say. A video belonging to an AL Qaeda offshoot, Jund al-Aqsa, purportedly shows a drone landing on Syrian military barracks. In another video, small explosives purportedly dropped by the Iran-backed Shiite militant group Hezbollah target the Sunni militant group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front. A U.S. military official, who spoke anonymously because he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the U.S. military is aware of the development. Commanders have warned troops to take cover if they see what they might have once dismissed as a surveillance drone, he said.

A Thermodynamics of Teams: Towards a Robust Computational Model of Autonomous Teams

AAAI Conferences

One of the great puzzles in social science is the failure of rational models of teamwork, a rising concern for Artificial Intelligence researchers. Social learning theory (i.e., rewards and punishments; associations; modelling) works partially with individuals, but not with teams. These theories of methodological individualism, including, but not limited to, game theory, have also failed to advance the field of economics. To address interdependence, the phenomenon central to teamwork, we explain why game theory, the first to study interdependence mathematically, has failed. As an alternative, we offer a non-rational theory composed at this time of three parts: quantum mathematics for interdependence (e.g., interference); biology for population effects; and min-max entropy production as a metric of good and unsatisfactory team performance for humans or artificial agents (with min entropy production as LEP, and maximum entropy production as MEP). We report on three mathematical breakthroughs: First, that the interdependence between an individual’s observations and actions, once measured, breaks the link known as intuition, leading to the measurement problem of incompleteness, accounting for the failure of survey instruments to predict human action; second, that at the team and larger levels of analyses, the ill-effects on min-max entropy production of consensus-seeking rules and authoritarian leadership serve to suppress the search for solutions to the problems that teams work to solve; and third, as a speculation to integrate group decision-making and a team’s emotions: with LEP as a team’s ground state versus a team with internal conflict at an elevated LEP state.

Stochastic Opponent Modeling Agents: A Case Study with Hamas

AAAI Conferences

In this paper, we describe a case study that shows how SOMA was used to model the behavior of the terrorist organization, Hamas. Our team, consisting of a mix of computer scientists, policy experts, and political scientists, were able to understand new facts about Hamas of which even seasoned Hamas experts may not have been aware. This paper briefly overviews SOMA rules, explains how several thousand SOMA rules for Hamas were automatically derived, and then describes a few key findings about Hamas, enabled by this framework.