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This article was published on November 3, 2011

    Palestine asks the UN to investigate an attack that took down Internet service for a day

    Palestine asks the UN to investigate an attack that took down Internet service for a day
    Nancy Messieh
    Story by

    Nancy Messieh

    Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

    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.

    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.”