Fact Check: Elon Musk Has NOT Restored Internet Services In Gaza


  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Elon Musk Has NOT Restored Internet Services In Gaza No Evidence

Has Elon Musk restored communication through Starlink Internet after Gaza experienced a near-total blackout on October 27, 2023? No, that's not true: Musk offered his satellite internet service, Starlink, to help the aid organizations working in Gaza, but there is no evidence to suggest that this actually happened. According to the Paltel Group, which provides telecom services in Gaza, the communication blackout that lasted for 36 hours is over and the services are gradually being restored.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) published on November 1, 2023 with the following caption, translated from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff:

Today, Elon Musk launched the Internet in Gaza in support of Palestine! Colonel Ivan Moskov of the General Intelligence Directorate, also known as Elon Musk, shut down the Internet of the Ukrainian army.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-06 212458.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Nov 6 18:25:02 2023 UTC)

Social media posts in Bulgaria shared the false claim that Elon Musk launched back the Internet services in Gaza to support Palestine and Hamas according to a Facebook post from October 29, 2023:

Elon Musk said he will provide Internet access through Starlink in Gaza Strip. Access will be provided to international and humanitarian organizations and Hamas.

Screenshot 2023-11-06 214441.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Nov 6 18:44:45 2023 UTC)

On October 27,2023 Gaza had faced an almost total internet blackout due to Israel's bombing of its communications infrastructure. In a tweet posted on October 28, 2023 Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, pledged Starlink support for "internationally recognized aid groups" on X:

Screenshot 2023-11-06 220839.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Nov 6 19:08:41 2023 UTC)

The Starlink satellite internet venture operated by SpaceX is comprised of a "constellation of thousands of satellites" that orbit very close to Earth at about 550km (340 miles) from the surface, making it easier to provide internet services in rural and isolated regions of the world where the internet terminals and cables aren't strong. However, it is unclear if Gaza may benefit from it due to the blockade, fuel shortage and ground station issues. There is no evidence supporting the claim that Starlink has been launched in Gaza.

On October 29, 2023 the Paltel Group, which provides communication services in Gaza, announced that landline, mobile, and internet services were gradually being restored:

Screenshot 2023-11-06 224546.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Nov 6 19:45:48 2023 UTC)

Additional Lead Stories fact-checks related to Starlink can be found here.

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