Tesla CEO and ‘X’ owner Elon Musk spoke to Israeli security agency Shin Bet’s head Ronen Bar about providing internet in the war-torn Gaza via Starlink satellite network, Israel-based tech news website, mobile.mako reported. This development came a day after Musk’s announcement of providing internet access created an uproar. “Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza,” Musk posted on X on Saturday.
After sparking controversy, Elon Musk contacted Ronen Bar, the chief of Shin Bet, within the last 24 hours. During their conversation, Musk emphasised his support for Israel and asserted that the connection would be “only for humanitarian purposes.” “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,” Musk added in a subsequent post.
He further stated his intention to conduct security checks in coordination with both the US and Israeli governments before activating any terminals for his Starlink satellite network. The head of Shin Bet firmly conveyed that Israel would not permit any misuse of this communication channel by terrorist elements in Gaza, mobile.mako reported Furthermore, Musk stayed in touch with officials in Netanyahu’s office, whom he had met about a month ago in the United States. In his conversation with them, he emphasised that he is “not in a hurry to activate satellite communication in Gaza,” and asserted that if this were to happen, it would be subject to American supervision and the oversight of the Israeli security establishment.
Earlier, Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi criticised Musk’s idea of providing internet access in Gaza. “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. HAMAS is ISIS,” Karhi wrote, adding, “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.