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Bahrain government websites briefly inaccessible after alleged hacking allegation over Israel-Hamas war

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The websites of two Bahrain government ministries became briefly inaccessible Tuesday evening after…

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The websites of two Bahrain government ministries briefly became inaccessible Tuesday evening after a statement claimed hackers took them down because of the island kingdom’s stance on the war ongoing between Israel and Hamas.

A statement posted online by a self-proclaimed group calling itself Al-Toufan, or “The Flood” in Arabic, claims to have hacked the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Information. Both then became accessible again on Tuesday evening.

The statement said the alleged hacks came in retaliation for “abnormal statements issued” by the Al Khalifa ruling family on the island, without elaborating. Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa opened a summit in the kingdom last week by calling for an exchange between Hamas and Israel for the hostages and an end to the bloodshed.

The Bahraini government did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bahrain’s state media has not acknowledged the incident.

In February, the self-proclaimed group claimed to have taken down the websites of Bahrain International Airport, the official news agency and the chamber of commerce to mark the 12th anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising in the small country of the Gulf. The same self-described group targeted government websites during elections last year that were boycotted by a banned Shiite opposition group and others.

Bahrain entered into a diplomatic recognition agreement with Israel in 2020 alongside the United Arab Emirates. The island kingdom, home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, has drawn repeated criticism from Iran, its main regional rival, over the issue.

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