Humanitarian aid workers operating in Gaza may have access to the internet through Starlink according to Elon Musk after Israel cut connectivity in its efforts to subdue a terrorist uprising by Hamas. Musk made the comment in response to criticism from pro-Palestinian Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“Cutting off all media access for a population of 2.2 million people is unacceptable. I cannot fathom how such an action can be justified,” Ocasio-Cortez posted on X on Friday after news broke that Israel had cut off communications to prevent terrorists from coordinating a response to the upcoming ground invasion of Gaza.
AOC is a sickening Marxist antisemite who hates America and Israel, and I am fed up with her BS, the media promoting her, and ashamed that this two-faced hater is anywhere near the floor of the House of Representatives. You think my words are tough? Well, go back and look at…
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) October 12, 2023
Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in the conflict. In the days following the deadly attack against Israel that saw more than 1,400 people killed and several hundred abducted to be used as bargaining chips, Ocasio-Cortez refused to outright condemn the actions of Hamas.
Cutting communications is one of the oldest tactics used by militaries to disrupt resistance efforts and is well within the accepted boundaries of warfare. Israel has issued a blockade of Gaza to prevent most supplies from reaching the 2.2 million residents of the region. Fuel, electricity, and water services have been shut off to Gaza since the October 7 attacks.
“Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza,” Musk said on October 28 in a post on X.
Immediately after the remark by Musk, military experts said that it would be next to impossible for Musk’s SpaceX programmers to prevent Hamas from coopting the technology and using it to continue attacks against Israel. Starlink functions by connecting to thousands of low-orbit satellites through a portable receiver that would need to be positioned in Gaza.
Israel stated almost immediately that any attempt by Musk to provide internet access in Gaza would be cut off. Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said the only way Israel would consider allowing Starlink access in Gaza would be on the condition that all prisoners still held by the terrorist organization be released.
“Israel will use all means at its disposal to fight this. Hamas will use it for terrorist activities. There is no doubt about it, we know it, and Musk knows it,” Karhi said.
Palestinians living in Gaza are under constant threat of aerial bombardment from Israeli warplanes targeting Hamas. Few nations are accepting refugees from the region including all of the predominantly Muslim-led nations in the Middle East. Citing the difficulty in determining who is a terrorist and who is simply a resident has been the crux of the issue. Last week, a minor politician in Scotland said that the country would welcome refugees, but currently, there is practically no escape from Gaza. Only one pass-through is operational and that port of egress runs to Egypt which is unwilling to accept refugees.