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Musk warned by Israel on providing communication aid to Gaza

Soon after Elon Musk offered to provide communication lines in Gaza, the war-torn territory, Israel declared that it would “use all means at its disposal to fight this,” reported HT.

Shlomo Karhi, Israel’s minister of communication, feared that Hamas militants might utilize Musk’s communication connections for “terrorist activities.”

“HAMAS will use it for terrorist activities,” Karhi wrote. “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.”

On Friday, Israel disrupted communications and the internet in the besieged enclave, preventing approximately 2.3 million residents from communicating with one another or the outside world.

International humanitarian organizations claimed that the blackout was making Gaza’s already dire circumstances worse. According to them, the inability to communicate affects the main emergency number, 101, and delays the timely arrival of ambulances to help airstrike victims who are hurt.

Elon Musk announced on Saturday that SpaceX, the billionaire’s aerospace company, will provide connectivity to globally recognized Gaza aid groups through Starlink- a satellite internet constellation.

Following US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s criticism of Israel’s decision to cut off communications in Gaza, Musk made his statement.

“Cutting off all communication to a population of 2.2 million is unacceptable. Journalists, medical professionals, humanitarian efforts, and innocents are all endangered,” AOC wrote in a post on X. “I do not know how such an act can be defended. The United States has historically denounced this practice.”

“Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza,” Elon Musk wrote in response to her post.

Starlink satellites were said to have been essential to some regions’ continued internet connectivity after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, despite attempts by the Russians to jam signals.

SpaceX has not yet addressed its request for information regarding how it would guarantee that any Starlink connection was utilized by humanitarian organizations rather than Hamas, the group in charge of governing the Gaza Strip, Reuters stated.

(Published 29 October 2023, 16:36 IST)

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