Musk says Starlink will provide connectivity in Gaza through aid teams

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, attends the Viva technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, on June 16, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File photo Obtain licensing rights

Oct 28 (Reuters) – SpaceX’s Starlink will support communications with “internationally recognized aid organizations” in Gaza, Elon Musk said on Saturday.

In a post on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, Musk said it was unclear who has authority over ground connections in Gaza, but we do know that “no terminal has requested a connection in that area.”

A phone and internet blackout cut off people in the Gaza Strip from the world and each other on Saturday, as Israel expanded its air and ground offensive to make calls to loved ones, ambulances or colleagues.

International humanitarian organizations said the blackout, which began on Friday evening, is worsening an already desperate situation by disrupting life-saving operations and preventing them from communicating with their staff on the ground.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on how to ensure that aid agencies other than Hamas use the Starlink link.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Starlink satellites were said to be critical in maintaining internet connectivity in some areas despite Russian congestion.

Since then, Musk has said he has refused to take control of Russian-occupied Crimea, refusing to allow his satellites to be used for Ukrainian attacks on Russian forces there.

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Reporting by Paranjot Kaur in Bangalore; Editing by Diane Croft and David Gregorio

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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