(Bloomberg) -- Israel says it’s in talks with SpaceX on setting up Starlink internet services to bolster its wartime communications, ahead of its expected ground invasion in the Gaza Strip.

The announcement comes as Israel goes to war with Hamas in Gaza, following a deadly cross-border invasion on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians. The Israeli army has responded with heavy airstrikes in Gaza, which have killed more than 2,800 Palestinians, and stopped fuel, water and electricity supply into the Hamas-run Strip while amassing hundreds of thousands of troops along the front lines.

SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement on Tuesday, Israel’s Communications Ministry said the move would ensure towns on the frontlines would have continuous internet service. It will be the first time Israel has relied on Starlink, which will serve as a backup in case other systems are disrupted, a spokesperson for the ministry added.  

The Israeli ministry said it is also considering disconnecting the internet and phone services it provides to Gaza. It also confirmed it was working to shut down the Israel offices of Qatari state-owned news network Al-Jazeera, “which is used for Hamas propaganda, incitement and harm to national security during wartime.”


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