SpaceX secures license to operate Starlink in Israel and parts of Gaza Strip

Credit: Starlink/X

SpaceX’s Starlink has been granted a license to operate in Israel and select areas of the Gaza Strip. The license comes after SpaceX agreed to security measures that would prevent unauthorized entities from using the satellite internet system. 

With the agreement in place, Starlink would be available to some authorities in Israel, as noted in a Bloomberg News report. The Israeli Ministry of Communications confirmed the development on Wednesday. The government also approved the use of Starlink at a field hospital in southern Gaza, which is run by the United Arab Emirates. 

Israel would be using Starlink for emergency backup communications. The system would also start selling its terminals in Israel through a subsidiary in the coming weeks. Sales would be restricted, at least initially, to a set of approved clients such as local councils and government bodies. Israel Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi provided some details about the country’s decision in a post on X. 

“Starlink’s entry into Israel will enable advanced satellite communication in routine and during times of emergency. Units in the Gaza Strip to support humanitarian causes will be approved individually, only after Israeli security forces confirmed it to be an authorized entity with no concern of risk or possibility of endangering national security,” Karhi wrote in his post. 

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk supported the approval of Starlink’s use in Israel and select areas of Gaza. In a post on X, Musk noted that SpaceX is hoping that Starlink could be used to help both the people of Israel and the civilians in Gaza. “It is our hope to help both the people of Israel and, with all due care, innocent civilians in Gaza. This approval by Israel is greatly appreciated. In such a terrible situation, we should strive for conspicuous acts of kindness whenever possible,” Musk wrote

While Musk has maintained that Starlink is designed for peaceful purposes, the satellite internet system has garnered recognition for its ability to provide internet access in conflict zones, even seeing military use in certain instances. This became evident in Ukraine, as Starlink allowed the Ukranian military to stay connected to the internet despite Russia’s efforts to cut the country’s access to the world wide web. 

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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