SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has pledged to aid humanitarian organizations in Gaza by providing Starlink internet access amidst an information blackout caused by Israeli airstrikes. However, Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Kahri has expressed opposition to Musk’s plan, stating that Israel will use all available means to fight against it as he believes that Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza, will utilize the internet access for terrorist activities.
In response to Kahri’s concerns, Musk reassured that he is not naive about the potential risks. He explained that before activating even a single terminal, a security check will be conducted with both the US and Israeli governments to ensure that the internet access is used solely for humanitarian purposes. Musk added that if any Starlink terminal in Gaza attempts to connect, extraordinary measures will be taken to verify its usage.
Musk further announced that he will open the Starlink satellite network to internationally recognized aid organizations operating in Gaza. This initiative comes after the Israeli airstrikes severed the enclave’s last phone and internet connections with the outside world, leaving news organizations and aid groups unable to communicate with their workers. Various organizations, including the UN children’s agency (UNICEF), the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, and Red Crescent, reported a loss of contact with their employees. RT Arabic also faced temporary difficulties in reaching its correspondents and photographers in Gaza.
This is not the first time Musk has deployed Starlink to a conflict zone. Previously, when Russia initiated its military operation in Ukraine, he supplied Kiev with Starlink terminals. However, Musk faced criticism when he prohibited the Ukrainian military from using the network to guide drone strikes on Russian ships in the Black Sea.
The provision of Starlink internet access to humanitarian organizations in Gaza aims to address the communication crisis caused by the Israeli airstrikes. By enabling connectivity, these organizations will be able to effectively coordinate their relief efforts and provide essential services to the affected population.
In conclusion, Elon Musk’s commitment to supporting humanitarian organizations in Gaza with Starlink internet access has faced opposition from the Israeli Communications Minister. However, Musk has reassured that he will undertake rigorous security checks before activation and will ensure that the internet access is used solely for humanitarian purposes. This initiative aims to alleviate the communication blackout caused by the Israeli airstrikes, allowing aid organizations to carry out their vital work in supporting the affected population.