The hacker group Anonymous announced early Thursday that it would begin attacking Israeli government and military websites in retaliation, it said, for Israel’s recent strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip.
The announcement was made on Twitter.
The group is calling the attacks #opIsrael, and within several hours they were claiming to have successfully taken down over 40 Israeli military and government websites.
Anonymous also issued a press release
, saying, “To the people of Gaza and the “Occupied Territories”, know that Anonymous stands with you in this fight. We will do everything in our power to hinder the evil forces of the IDF arrayed against you. We will use all our resources to make certain you stay connected to the Internet and remain able to transmit your experiences to the world. “
The New York Times
cited the Israel-based cyber security firm Radware as saying that most of the attacks by Anonymous were unsuccessful.
One site the group boasted they had taken down was a Tel-Aviv city government website. VOA cannot confirm the claim, but at the time of publication the site was unavailable.
Anonymous is also distributing what they call an “Anonymous Gaza Care Package,” which is supposed to contain instructions for those in the Gaza Strip on how to get back online should Israel cut off Internet access.
The most recent eruption of violence between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip began Wednesday when the Israeli Defense Force killed Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jaabari. For two days, Israel has been launching air strikes against Hamas targets, while Hamas has continued to fire missiles into Israeli territory. The resulting violence has left at least 15 dead.