Israel has told Elon Musk that Starlink's satellite network will only be allowed to operate in Gaza with its approval.

It follows comments from Musk last month that Starlink will look to provide its service to "support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza."

Gaza Strip 2021
– Getty Images

Musk visited Israel this week and is due to speak with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Yesterday, Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi confirmed that Musk's plan to provide services to Gaza is reliant on Israel.

"As a result of this significant agreement, Starlink satellite units can only be operated in Israel with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, including the Gaza Strip," Karhi wrote in a post on Musk's X messaging platform, confirming Musk has agreed.

Gaza is currently under heavy attack from Israeli forces in retaliation for the Hamas terror attack last month.

Hamas killed more than 1,400 people in Israel in surprise attacks on October 7, and kidnapped more than 200 people.

Israel's retaliation against Hamas has killed at least 14,500 people in Gaza since October 7, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Since the start of the war with Hamas five weeks ago, Israel has blocked all but one delivery of fuel to Gaza, so resources have been scarce.

The Gaza Strip has suffered a number of Internet outages since October 7, with the first such outage taking place on October 27, lasting nearly 36 hours.

A second outage on November 1 lasted for a few hours before services were restored. The Palestinian telco Paltelco stated that communications services, including fixed, cellular, and Internet were impacted. The company said that services had been disconnected by Israel. Some people with mobiles served by Israeli and Egyptian providers were still able to get limited connectivity.

On November 5, Gaza was hit by its third outage in the space of ten days. The outage lasted for more than 15 hours, before services were gradually restored.

After the first outage, Musk took to X to state his intentions to provide connectivity via Starlink services.

However, Karhi responded: "Israel will use all means at its disposal to fight this. Hamas will use it for terrorist activities. There is no doubt about it, we know it, and Musk knows it. Hamas is ISIS.

"Perhaps Musk would be willing to condition it with the release of our abducted babies, sons, daughters, elderly people. All of them! By then, my office will cut any ties with Starlink."

In response, Musk reiterated that the connectivity will only be provided for "purely humanitarian reasons."

He also stated that full security checks with both the US and Israeli governments will be carried out before any Starlink terminal is turned on in Gaza.

In Ukraine, Musk and Starlink are providing communications support to both citizens and soldiers in the country amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

Russia targeted critical grid and telecoms infrastructure, destroying traditional communication methods, but Starlink has allowed many to keep in contact.

However, Musk has also restricted access to the Starlink service in Ukraine on occasion – including near Russian-occupied Crimea.