Elon Musk to use SpaceX Starlink to help Gaza Strip despite Israel's Hamas concerns

Elon Musk to use SpaceX Starlink to help Gaza Strip despite Israel's Hamas concerns

Elon Musk has said his SpaceX's Starlink will support communication links from the Gaza Strip to what he calls “internationally recognized aid organisations” during the conflict.

Israel has said it will fight the move after the billionaire announced on Twitter on Saturday that he would support communication. However, Mr Musk has said that "no terminal has requested a connection in that area".

Mr Musk, who also owns Twitter, responded to a tweet by US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Cutting off all communication to a population of 2.2 million is unacceptable. Journalists, medical professionals, humanitarian efforts, and innocents are all endangered,” she said.

“I do not know how such an act can be defended. The United States has historically denounced this practice.”

In the ongoing conflict, Israel has put the area into a state of blackout, meaning that Gaza residents have been unable to place calls to loved ones.

International humanitarian efforts said the blackout, which began late on Friday, was worsening an already desperate situation by impeding life-saving operations and preventing contact with their staff on the ground.

“We will support the UN and other internationally recognised aid groups,” Mr Musk tweeted in response to AOC.

“It is not clear who has authority for ground links in Gaza, but do we know that no terminal has requested a connection in that area?

“No terminals from Gaza have attempted to communicate with our constellation.

“SpaceX will support communication links with internationally recognized aid organisations.”

Israel's communication minister Shlomo Karhi responded on Twitter by saying: “[We] will use all means at its disposal to fight this."

"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."

Mr Musk has previously found himself at the centre of a war after failing to allow Ukrainian forces to use the Starlink hook-up to attack Russian-occupied Crimea.

He responded to Mr Karhi to say: "We are not so naive. 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."