Israel approves Starlink services in Gaza

Israel says it will allow the use of Elon Musk’s Starlink services in Gaza for the first time, providing internet communications at a field hospital in the war-torn strip.

"The Israeli security authorities approved the provision of Starlink services at the UAE's field hospital operating in Rafah,” Israel’s Communications Ministry said in a statement released Wednesday.

“Starlink low-latency, high-speed connections will enable video conferencing with other hospitals and real-time remote diagnostics," it said.

The Ministry said that Starlink will also be enabled in Israel.

"The use of the company's services will be limited at first with broader use expected in the future," it said.

Musk commented about the news on X. " It is our hope to help both the people of Israel and, with all due care, innocent civilians in Gaza," he posted. "This approval by @Israel is greatly appreciated. In such a terrible situation, we should strive for conspicuous acts of kindness whenever possible," Musk said.

According to media reports, the approval is part of a broader plan to shut down fixed and mobile communications in Gaza.

A move some say will help combat Hamas propaganda, as well as help to warn civilians about upcoming attacks and necessary evacuations.

Starlink satellites are owned and operated by Musk’s SpaceX technology company.

It not the first time Starlink had been used in a war zone.

Musk had provided Starlink internet services for free to Ukraine in the months after the Russian invasion, a boon to Ukraine’s military.

Eventually, claiming he could not afford to fund the $20 million per month services, the Pentagon took over the contract.

New reports by Ukrainian intelligence this month found that Russian forces in occupied territories have been using Starlink terminals.

Musk has denied selling the services to Russia, and Ukraine has since reported it believes Moscow is buying the Starlink services through third party Arab nations.

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