Elon Musk wants to release his Starlink satellite service for use in the Gaza Strip. However, Israel fears that Hamas terrorists will abuse the system for military purposes. The region is largely cut off from the Internet.
In a post on X, Elon Musk announced that Starlink will support connections to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza. As part of the latest developments in the Middle East conflict, Israel has completely sealed off the Gaza Strip. The infrastructure was damaged by air raids, meaning that emergency calls were no longer possible.
Israel’s Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi is not exactly enthusiastic about the announcement and emphasizes that all available means will be used to combat the plan. He assumes that Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, would use the service for terrorist purposes and coordinate further attacks. At the moment, no Starlink terminal from Gaza has attempted to establish a connection.
The SpaceX boss assures that “extraordinary measures” will be taken so that the system can actually only be used for humanitarian purposes. There should be a security review in cooperation with the US government and the Israeli government before a terminal goes online. Shlomo Karhi suggests that Musk demands the release of the kidnapped hostages as a condition for using Starlink. Otherwise, all connections remained cut.
Aid organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the WHO are currently having problems contacting their teams in the Gaza Strip. However, calls can still be made and content exchanged using satellite phones and foreign SIM cards that can dial into Israeli networks.
Starlink was used in several conflicts earlier
Starlink had already played a role in other conflicts. So the satellite service was used in the Ukraine war to defend the country and transmit information in almost real-time. Protesters in Iran were also able to access the service.
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