More than a dozen major Israeli websites were the target of a cyberattack on Tuesday evening, apparently in response to clashes between the IDF and Gazan protesters last weekend.Websites belonging to hospitals, local authorities, the Israeli Opera, Israel Teachers Union and the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization were among those targeted by a hacker known as Dark- Coder or Th3Falcon.Affected websites temporarily displayed a fullscreen image from clashes on the Gaza border last Friday, accompanied by Arabic music and the messages “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine” and “al-Aqsa is a redline.” Most of the websites were taken offline shortly after the attack.The hacker wrote on Twitter that the attack was part of a coordinated effort known as OpIsrael by anti-Israel groups, which forms part of a wider collective of hackers called Anonymous to sabotage Israeli websites.
Initiated in April 2013, OpIsrael is an annual effort to hack key Israeli websites and leak information in protest against Israeli treatment of Palestinians, intended to correspond with Holocaust Remembrance Day. Major hacking attempts are often met by pro-Israel hackers targeting Arab government websites.Previous targets of cyberattacks include Yad Vashem and the Education Ministry.The perpetrator of Tuesday’s hacking effort attacked social media users who sought to report his Twitter account, writing, “Message to some Zionists: you can’t stop me by reporting my account even if my twitter got blocked this won’t stop me. Stand up for what you believe in even if it means standing alone.”In July 2017, the same hacker attacked the Meretz party’s website amid rising tensions over the installment of metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount following a deadly terrorist attack at the holy site. “Alquds [Jerusalem] is ours. It will never be yours,” said the hacker’s message on the party’s website.
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