HomeViralIsrael Threatens To ‘Cut Ties’ With Elon Musk Over Provision of Internet In Gaza
Israel Threatens To ‘Cut Ties’ With Elon Musk Over Provision of Internet In Gaza
October 29, 2023
Elon Musk‘s offer to provide Starlink satellite internet services to aid organizations in Gaza amid ongoing conflict has raised concerns in Israel.
Israeli Minister of Communications, Shlomo Karhi, expressed worry that Hamas, considered a terrorist group, could misuse the technology for nefarious purposes.
He suggested that Musk consider tying aid to the release of Israeli captives. In response, Musk emphasized his commitment to humanitarian use and security checks.
‘Israel Will Use All Means At Its Disposal To Fight’ Elon Musk’s Plan
Tesla founder and billionaire Elon Musk’s offer to help Gaza with internet services has sparked concerns in Israel.
In a recent post on X, Israeli Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi expressed worry, stating: “Israel will use all means at its disposal to fight this. HAMAS will use it for terrorist activities. There is no doubt about it, we know it, and Musk knows it. HAMAS is ISIS.”
Israel will use all means at its disposal to fight this.
HAMAS will use it for terrorist activities. There is no doubt about it, we know it, and musk knows it. HAMAS is ISIS.
Perhaps Musk would be willing to condition it with the release of our abducted babies, sons, daughters,… https://t.co/pRNOlnINbZ
He mentioned a potential condition for the aid, adding, “Perhaps Musk would be willing to condition it with the release of our abducted babies, sons, daughters, elderly people. All of them!”
“By then, my office will cut any ties with Starlink,” Karhi noted.
Musk responded to the post, asserting he “is not so naive.” He continued, “Per my post, no Starlink terminal has attempted to connect from Gaza. If one does, we will take extraordinary measures to confirm that it is used *only* for purely humanitarian reasons. Moreover, we will do a security check with both the US and Israeli governments before turning on even a single terminal.”
Gaza Has Been Cut Off From The World And Emergency Contacts Unreachable
Musk’s promise to provide aid to Gaza by offering Starlink satellite internet services to aid organizations in the region comes at a particularly crucial time, as communication and connection have been severely disrupted in Gaza due to the ongoing conflict with Israel.
The blackout resulted from Israeli bombardments and ground incursions into Gaza, affecting internet and cellular services and hindering emergency response efforts.
As reported, the emergency 101 telephone number was unreachable, which means ambulances and aid workers in the Gaza Strip could not be contacted. Many journalists were also cut off from the rest of the world.
According to international humanitarian groups, the blackout has further exacerbated an already dire situation by obstructing critical life-saving operations and hindering communication with their personnel on the field.
In an interview with BBC Radio, Mark Regev, a senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, noted that “in military operations conducted by the British army, the American army, often it is standard behavior to disrupt the communications of your enemy.”
He mentioned that he awaited a “full briefing” from the Israeli military to understand the cause of the communication blackout.
It Is Unknown If There Are Starlink Terminals In Gaza
Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez initially criticized the loss of telecommunications and internet access in Gaza, deeming it “unacceptable.”
In response to her concerns, Musk announced that “Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza.” He specifically mentioned the UN as one of the organizations that would benefit from this support.
As of now, there is no official confirmation from Starlink regarding the provision of its services in Gaza, aside from Musk’s post.
According to the Wall Street Journal, it is still being determined whether there are available Starlink terminals in Gaza, which are essential for the satellite internet connection.
Additionally, Tech Crunch reported that discussions have taken place with SpaceX about the potential utilization of Starlink services in areas bordering the conflict zones.
Elon Musk’s Starlink Helped Maintain Internet Access In Ukraine Following Russia’s Invasion
Similar to the current situation, Starlink satellites played a crucial role in maintaining internet access in certain regions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, even in the face of Russian attempts to disrupt it.
However, the Tesla CEO’s involvement with Starlink connectivity in the Ukraine conflict has sparked controversy due to the perceived control he has over the situation.
Allegations have been made that Musk shut down the Starlink network in Crimea during a Ukrainian attack on a Russian naval fleet in the past. Musk subsequently stated that he declined to extend coverage over Russian-occupied Crimea, opting not to permit his satellites to be used in Ukrainian operations against Russian forces there.