Israel Bites Back at Starlink’s Decision to Provide Connectivity to Gaza

In a tweet by SpaceX made a statement that Starlink will support connectivity to internationally aid organizations in Gaza.

According to reports, Israel did not receive Elon Musk’s decision with open arms. In a statement by Israel’s telecom minister Shlomo Karhi said, “We will use ALL MEANS to FIGHT this!”

In response to this Elon Musk said that, no Starlink terminal has attempted to connect from Gaza. Tweeting on behalf of Starlink, Musk affirmed, “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.”

Shlomo Karhi’s stern response seems to be rooted in deep concerns over the possibility of HAMAS using the connectivity for terrorist activities that might accelerate its advances in the conflict. In his response to Musk’s decision, he said: “HAMAS will use it for terrorist activities. There is no doubt about it, we know it, and Musk knows it.”

He went on further to say that perhaps Musk would be willing to condition it with the release of the country’s abducted babies, sons, daughters, and elderly people, concluding that by then Isreal’s telecommunications office will cut any ties with Starlink.

Major organizations that are currently providing aid to Gaza are the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, and Doctors Without Borders.

UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) is the largest humanitarian operation on the ground in Gaza. According to Business Insider Africa, Rwanda provided Gaza with 16 tonnes of food items, medicines, and medical supplies through its contributions to the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO).

In a statement given to the British news agency BBC, the Rwanda government’s deputy spokesperson, Alain Mukuralinda said that the donation was made, “In support of the ongoing international rescue effort.” he added, “Rwanda reiterates the need for a de-escalation to protect the lives of innocent civilians.”

Reports indicate that their have been several connectivity breaches in the Gaza strip since the onset of the unfolding conflict. Yesterday, internet monitoring firm NetBlocks released metrics on Twitter that shows a brief disruption to internet service in parts of the Gaza Strip with indications of recovery.

NetBlocks confirmed that communications in conflict areas are heavily affected by air strikes and damaged infrastructure as well as a near-total outage on Friday that are attributed to measures imposed by Israel.