As Israel and Gaza traded fire with one another on Thursday, a growing war online has taken shape between the two sides, catching the attention of the world in the process. The conflict has not gone unnoticed by Anonymous, which has since launched an offensive of its own in support of Gaza.
The infamous hacker collective published a press release Thursday, issuing a warning to Israel.
To the IDF and government of Israel we issue you this warning only once. Do NOT shut down the Internet into the “Occupied Territories”, and cease and desist from your terror upon the innocent people of Palestine or you will know the full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous. And like all the other evil governments that have faced our rage, you will NOT survive it unscathed.
A video narrating the contents of that press release was also posted to YouTube and disseminated across various websites and prominent Anonymous social media accounts.
The online war between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigade accounts on Twitter has been one of historical development. Numerous reports have commented that never before has the world seen such a public and brutal social media campaign between opposing forces in real time.
The conflict sparked Anonymous to launch #OpIsrael, a campaign primarily focused on ensuring that citizens of Gaza maintain alternate methods of accessing the internet in the event such access is intentionally shut down, as occurred in Egypt and other countries during the Arab Spring. However, there have been widespread reports of power outages in and around Gaza due to rocket fire and shelling from both sides.
The hacker collective also began a series of website defacements and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against various targets. Anonymous claims it successfully knocked offline the website for the International Security Academy, which was still down at the time of this writing. It also claims that it defaced another such target, which it called a “top Israeli security and surveillance website;” however, according to a search on the Internet Archive, that website does not appear to have been updated since 2010.
Another page found online at Pastebin highlights a full list of sites that some with the hacker collective claim have been defaced.
According to the same #OpIsrael page posted at Pastebin, the group has also posted a link to publicly available personal information of the “leader of AIPAC, Israel’s American lobby.” AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which describes itself as “a 100,000-member grassroots movement of activists committed to ensuring Israel’s security and protecting American interests in the Middle East and around the world.” A review of the relevant page posted by Anonymous finds it to contain a Wikipedia description of AIPAC, the organization’s 501c3 information, the name and address of AIPAC president Michael M Kassen, geo-coordinates and a Google street view for what is presumably Kassen’s home address, and a list of the primarily Republican campaigns to which Kassen contributed in 2008.
A petition to “condition US aid to Israel on compliance with the law not to violate the rights of Palestinians,” as well as a “Boycott Israel” list can also be found on the #OpIsrael page.
The full November 15th press release from Anonymous appears below in its entirety [with sic].
Anonymous Operation Israel – Press Release
Thursday – November 15, 2012 2:00 AM ET USA
Greetings World — For far to 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. Like so many around the globe, we have felt helpless in the face of such implacable evil. And today’s insane attack and threatened invasion of Gaza was more of the same.
But when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand. As the former dictator of Egypt Mubarack learned the hard way – we are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch. To the IDF and government of Israel we issue you this warning only once. Do NOT shut down the Internet into the “Occupied Territories”, and cease and desist from your terror upon the innocent people of Palestine or you will know the full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous. And like all the other evil governments that have faced our rage, you will NOT survive it unscathed.
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. As a start, we have put together the Anonymous Gaza Care Package – http://bit.ly/XH87C5 – which contains instructions in Arabic and English that can aid you in the event the Israel government makes good on it’s threat to attempt to sever your Internet connection. It also contains useful information on evading IDF surveillance, and some basic first aid and other useful information. We will continue to expand and improve this document in the coming days, and we will transmit it to you by every means at our disposal. We encourage you to download this package, and to share it with your fellow Palestinians to the best of your ability.
We will be with you. No matter how dark it may seem, no matter how alone and abandoned you may feel – know that tens of thousands of us in Anonymous are with you and working tirelessly around the clock to bring you every aid and assistance that we can.
We Are Anonymous
We Are Everywhere
We Are Legion
We Do Not Forgive
We Do Not Forget
To the oppressors of the innocent Palestinian people, it is to late to EXPECT US