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Israeli official says the country has reached a 'significant agreement' with Elon Musk to allow Starlink in Gaza, but only if approved by Israel

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) takes Elon Musk (L) on a tour of Kibbutz Kfar Aza.
Billionaire and boss of the social network X, Elon Musk, traveled to Israel during the truce between Israel and Hamas. Musk is due to speak with Israeli President Isaac Herzog about the online fight against antisemitism.Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO) Handout via Getty Images
  • An Israeli official said Elon Musk agreed to terms to provide Starlink satellites over Gaza.

  • Starlink can only operate over the Gaza Strip if Israel approves, the official said.

  • The deal, unconfirmed by Musk, comes after he visited Israel amid accusations of antisemitism.

Starlink can operate over Gaza, Israeli officials announced Monday, but only if the satellites have been approved by Israel.

"Elon Musk, I congratulate you for reaching a principle understanding with the Ministry of Communications under my leadership," Israel's Minister of Communications, Shlomo Karhi, posted on X. "As a result of this significant agreement, Starlink satellite units can only be operated in Israel with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, including the Gaza Strip."

The deal, which remains unconfirmed by Musk or Starlink, would fulfill the billionaire's offer to provide internet to "internationally recognized aid organizations" in Gaza after Israel cut off communications and internet connectivity in the region as it bombarded the territory in response to the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas.

Representatives for Starlink and Israel's Ministry of Communications did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

Musk initially faced harsh criticism from Israel for his offer to provide internet connectivity over Gaza, with Karhi saying at the time that Hamas would use the connection for terrorist activities and that "Israel will use all means at its disposal to fight" the offer.

The offer to provide Starlink over Gaza, as well as the backlash from Israel, was followed closely by fierce opposition to comments Musk made on X, which many said were antisemitic.

Musk responded to a post on the platform that said Jewish people are pushing "hatred against whites" and criticized the political ideology of "western Jewish populations."

Business Insider previously reported the post hinted at the "great replacement" conspiracy theory, which claims that nonwhite immigrants to Western countries are replacing the white population — an theory often invoked against liberal Jews who are pro-immigration.

"You have said the actual truth," Musk replied to the post.

However, after Musk visited Israel on Monday during a four-day pause in Israel's battle against Hamas, the Starlink deal — along with its contingencies based on Israeli approval of the devices — was announced by Israel. Musk has yet to make a statement on the announcement.

It remains unclear exactly when Starlink services may become available in the region.

Read the original article on Business Insider