Israel welcomes Elon Musk on wartime visit, considers Starlink for Gaza

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Israel welcomes Elon Musk on wartime visit, considers Starlink for Gaza

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 acquire license rights

JERUSALEM, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Israel welcomed Elon Musk on Monday, saying it had reached a deal in principle for the use of his company SpaceX’s Starlink communications in the Gaza Strip, where a pause in the war against Hamas coincided with the visit of the technological entrepreneur.

Musk’s office has not yet commented on the trip.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has scheduled a meeting with Musk for the afternoon. They will be joined by relatives of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and will also discuss “the need for action to combat the rise of anti-Semitism online,” Herzog’s office said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also scheduled to meet with Musk on Monday to discuss security aspects of artificial intelligence and hold a live online discussion, Netanyahu’s office said.

During their last meeting, in California on September 18, Netanyahu urged Musk to strike a balance between protecting free speech and combating hate speech after weeks of controversy over anti-Semitism on X – l old Twitter.

Last month, as war raged following a wave of Hamas killings and kidnappings in southern Israel, Musk proposed using Starlink to support communications links in the Gaza enclave. the power outage with “internationally recognized humanitarian organizations”.

At the time, Israeli communications service Shlomo Karhi opposed it, saying “Hamas will use it (Starlink) for terrorist activities.”

But in a new speech, Karhi said Monday that Israel and Musk had reached an agreement in principle that “Starlink satellite units can only be operated in Israel with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, including in the Gaza strip “.

In a message to Musk, Karhi said he hoped the visit to Israel “will serve as a springboard for future efforts, as well as strengthen your relationship with the Jewish people and the values ​​we share with the entire world.”

Musk said he was against anti-Semitism and anything that “promotes hatred and conflict” – including on X.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have increased around the world, notably during the seven-week Gaza war. Israel and Hamas are now in a temporary truce, with some Gaza hostages and Palestinians held by Israel on security charges being released.

On November 15, Musk subscribed to an article on

The White House condemned what it called a “heinous promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred” that “goes against our core values ​​as Americans.”

Major US companies including Walt Disney (DIS.N), Warner Bros Discovery (WBD.O) and NBCUniversal parent Comcast (CMCSA.O) have suspended advertising on its social media site.

The “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory holds that Jewish people and leftists are organizing the ethnic and cultural replacement of white populations with non-white immigrants, which will lead to “white genocide.”

Following the outbreak of the war in Gaza, anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased by nearly 400 percent from the previous year, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that fights against anti-Semitism.

Musk said that “.

Written by Dan Williams; Editing by Stephen Coates and Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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