The hacktivist group known as “Anonymous” has joined in the Israel/Gaza conflict. Launching #OpIsrael, Anonymous has taken down or defaced at least 700 Israeli websites, though the group claims that they have attacked over 9,000 pages.
Israel’s media confirmed the protest against Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, which involved the seizure and shut-down of various websites. Anonymous reportedly hit sites ranging from high-profile governmental structures such as the Foreign Ministry to local tourism companies’ pages.
The biggest attack has been on the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s international development program, titled Mashav. Anonymous announced on Twitter that they hacked into the database, rendering the site inaccessible.
The Jerusalem Post confirmed the attacks, which include the Foreign Ministry’s website, those of Kadima party, Bank of Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv Municipality, which provides residents with directions to bomb shelters. A majority of the pages taken down were either blank, or showed pro-Palestinian images and messages.
“This attack is in response to the Injustice against the Palestinian people.”
It was reported, however, that most of the 663 pages hit by Anonymous were subdomains of the same site, and many were still online and functioning properly. Furthermore, Anonymous announced on Twitter that they have taken down or defaced over 9,000 websites:
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) November 17, 2012
For the internet-impaired, “over 9,000” is a reference to this clip from Dragon Ball Z, which has been turned into a popularly referenced meme:
Anonymous has backed Gaza from the very beginning. A press statement from the group released Wednesday read:
“For far too long, Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people in the so called ‘Occupied Territories’ by the Israel Defense Force.”
However, a post on their website seemed supportive of both the Israeli and Palestinian people, while criticizing the IDF:
“Stop bombing Gaza. Millions of Israelis and Palestinians are lying awake, exposed and terrified.”
What do you think of Anonymous? Should they stay out of the conflict, or are they justified? Sound off below!