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Elon Musk says decision to provide Starlink to Gaza came after global pressure


Top line

Elon Musk admitted on Sunday that he felt global pressure to offer his Starlink internet service to Gaza after Israeli airstrikes destroyed almost all communications in the region, although it remains unclear how his plan will work. offer its services to humanitarian organizations in the region.

Highlights

Musk first posted just the exploding emoji, then after a user suggested he was “stuck between what’s the best thing to do” after feeling the pressure to provide support on the territory, Musk simply replied “Yeah” with a scowling emoji.

The billionaire owner of X Saturday said Starlink, part of his company SpaceX, will “support communications links with internationally recognized humanitarian organizations” in Gaza.

Internet service requires ground terminals to communicate with SpaceX satellites to connect to the Internet, and the Wall Street Journal According to reports, there are unlikely to be any such crossings in Gaza due to the Israeli blockade imposed earlier this month.

There was no clarification on how or when the terminals will be sent or installed in Gaza, and SpaceX did not immediately respond to this question. Forbes’ request for comment Sunday.

Chief Spokesperson

Shlomo Karhi, Israeli Minister of Communications, said the the country “will use all means at its disposal” to fight against the restoration of communications in Gaza. Karhi suggested Musk use the promise of restored internet to negotiate Hamas’ release of Israeli hostages, and said the group would eventually use Starlink for “terrorist activities” if it was provided.

Key context

Starlink describes itself as high-speed internet “available almost anywhere on Earth.” SpaceX first launched its Starlink satellites in 2019, and by July nearly 5,000 small satellites had been launched to broadcast high-speed internet to ground terminals placed almost anywhere around the world. Its accessibility has made Starlink a communications option in war zones, rural areas, and other places where traditional communications are not an option, including Ukraine. Starlink, which received U.S. defense funding, sent thousands of terminals to Ukraine after the Russian invasion last year, restoring communications for the Ukrainian military amid attacks that destroyed cell service . Musk’s intervention came under fire after it was revealed he refused to activate Starlink in Crimea ahead of a planned Ukrainian attack on Russian warships. Ukrainian officials accused Musk of foiling an attack that would have saved civilian lives.

Large number

2. Sunday is the second day without internet connectivity in the Gaza Strip after Israeli airstrikes “caused the destruction of all remaining international routes connecting Gaza to the outside world,” Palestinian telecommunications company Paltel said. said Friday. Service has slowly disappeared since the fighting began on October 7, falling to a near-total outage on Friday.

Further reading

MORE FROM FORBESElon Musk says Starlink will support ‘recognized’ humanitarian groups in GazaMORE FROM FORBESElon Musk cut off Starlink access to Ukraine in drone attack, biographer says
MORE FROM FORBESSpaceX’s Starlink revenue climbs to $1.4 billion, but falls short of early targets, report says, as Musk-Ukraine controversy rages

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