As violence continues in Israel, Elon Musk has stepped up to offer SpaceX’s Starlink support for communication links in Gaza, providing internationally recognized aid organizations with the ability to communicate.
Musk responded to concerns raised by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who criticized the fact that Israel had cut off communications in the region following an attack by Hamas on October 7. “Cutting off all communication to a population of 2.2 million is unacceptable,” Ocasio-Cortez posted on the X platform owned by Musk, formerly Twitter.
In response, Musk stated, “Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza.” This statement highlights Musk’s commitment to ensuring that essential communication lines remain open for aid groups in the region. This is crucial as aid organizations work to provide support and assistance to the 2.2 million people living in Gaza.
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 28, 2023
The blackout, which began on Friday evening, has isolated the people in Gaza, making calls to loved ones, ambulances or colleagues nearly impossible. International humanitarian organizations have stated that the blackout is worsening an already dire situation by impeding life-saving operations and preventing them from contacting their staff on the ground.
We will support the UN and other internationally recognized aid groups
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2023
Musk’s offer aligns with his previous support for Ukraine during its war against Russia. The tech billionaire had offered Starlink service to the Ukrainian military, albeit limiting its use to purely defensive operations. This move had raised concerns about Musk’s influence over U.S. foreign policy in the region.
This latest gesture by Musk is a testament to his commitment to ensuring that communication lines remain open during times of crisis. It is also a reflection of the broader issue of the importance of maintaining open communication lines during times of conflict to support humanitarian efforts and protect civilians.
The United States has historically denounced the practice of cutting off communication to populations, as Joe Biden recently restated. Biden stated that a “top priority” was to provide aid to Gaza. In a speech, he said, “In discussions with the leaders of Israel and Egypt, I secured an agreement for the first shipment of humanitarian assistance from the United Nations to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”
With Musk’s offer of Starlink, international aid organizations will be able to maintain essential communication lines, ensuring that aid can reach those in need. This move by Musk highlights the need for open communication lines to protect civilians and support aid organizations in their vital work.