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Israel to launch SpaceX Starlink internet amid Hamas war

An Israeli official said Tuesday that Israel is in talks with SpaceX to provide Starlink internet services, especially to conflict zones.

Starlink has never been offered in Israel, so this would be the first time. That official said it is considering halting cell and internet communications in Gaza to boost its wartime communications.

Israel Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi said on X that Starlink is being coordinated to allow SpaceX to operate communication terminals for a wide broadband internet connection in Israel. Additionally, under the minister’s direction, the ministry promotes the purchase of these satellite devices for conflict zone settlement regional councils and community leaders.

Karhi’s statement comes a week after Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s Palestinian group, launched a brutal attack on Israel that killed over 1,400 civilian Israelis. After that attack, days of retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza killed over 2,800 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

The war shows no signs of ending. After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Ukrainian forces used Starlink to maintain communications, revealing that satellite-based internet gives a critical edge during conflict.

Starlink’s role in conflict is unclear. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk refused to activate the service when Ukraine requested it before a planned attack on Russia’s navy earlier this year. I never authorized its use, and “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

When that service will launch and how many users it will have are unknown. Upon receiving a response from the Israeli government, will update the story. These terminals may also be purchased directly from SpaceX’s Starshield defense business unit.

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