A worldwide attack on Palestinian servers led to an interruption of Internet services across the West Bank and Gaza on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Communications Minister, Mashur Abu Daqqa.
Palestinian IP addresses sustained a coordinated attack from mirror servers from over 20 countries around the world, just one day after an overwhelming vote in which Palestine was granted membership in UNESCO.
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Abu Daqqa believes that Israel was behind the attack that effectively cut Palestine off from the world for a day. While Internet has been restored, Abdel Majid Melhem, Director General of the Palestinian Telecommunications Company, says that the attacks are ongoing.
Abu Daqqa added, “I think from the manner of the attack and its intensity that there is a state behind it, and it is not spontaneous. Israel could be involved as it announced (on Monday) that it was considering the kind of sanctions it would impose on us.”
Cyber warfare is nothing new between Israel and Palestine, and has served as an alternate virtual battle ground dating back to 2006. Both Palestinian and Israeli hackers have attacked websites owned by their counterparts, defaced them, and replaced them with slogans or images promoting their viewpoint.
Palestinian authorities are taking their fight to the UN and are seeking an international inquiry into the attack that crippled Internet services in Palestine.
Abu Daqqa said, “We will begin today our communications with the ITU [International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency] to request an international committee to investigate the facts.”