Hacktivist group Anonymous rallies to Gaza's side with #OpIsrael offensive

Photo credit: Rob Kints/Shutterstock.com
Photo credit: Rob Kints/Shutterstock.com

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) on Wednesday began its biggest offensive in Gaza in four years, after Palestinian rockets began shelling the country. Israeli aerial attacks killed a top Hamas military commander and is now dealing with an unraveling relationship with its neighbors, including Egypt, as a result. But the situation has another consequence: the Israeli government threatened to cut off the internet to the occupied Palestinian territory. And that got the attention of Anonymous.

“No one cuts Internet on our watch!” the group said in a Twitter post announcing the offensive.

The group is wrapping in political commentary as well as open access concerns. In a Pastebin post, Anonymous wrote: “For far too long, Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people in the so called ‘Occupied Territories’ by the Israel Defense Force. Like so many around the globe, we have felt helpless in the face of such implacable evil. And today’s insane attack and threatened invasion of Gaza was more of the same.”

Its real concern however is the communications aspect. “When the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand,” the manifesto reads. “As the former dictator of Egypt Mubarack learned the hard way – we are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch. To the IDF and government of Israel we issue you this warning only once.”

The group also has put together the Anonymous Gaza Care Package, linked from the Pastebin post, which contains instructions in Arabic and English on how to evading IDF surveillance, basic first aid and information on rigging a rogue internet connection.

According to Anonymous, some Israeli sites have already been defaced.  It added, “like all the other evil governments that have faced our rage, you will NOT survive it unscathed.”

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