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Monday, November 19, 2012

Millions of cyber attacks hit Israeli websites: Finance Minister

Israeli websites have been hit by 'millions' of cyber attacks after Tel Aviv started its deadly strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli Finance Minister says.

Tel Aviv has "deflected 44 million cyber attacks on government websites. All the attacks were thwarted except for one, which targeted a specific website that was down for six or seven minutes," said Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. 

This comes after hackers of the online activist group Anonymous claimed on Saturday that they have deleted databases of some 700 Israeli websites including that of the Bank of Jerusalem to express their anger over the recent escalation of attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The hackers also said that they have briefly taken down the foreign ministry website after Israeli officials threatened to cut the Internet communication in the Palestinian territory.

"For far too 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," Anonymous said in a statement.

"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. We are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch. To the … government of Israel we issue you this warning only once…,” it added.

At least 70 people, including six women and 15 children have been killed by Israeli airstrikes against the besieged Gaza Strip since Wednesday. Ahmed al-Ja'abari, the popular and influential head of the Hamas military wing, the Eezzedin Qassam Brigades, was assassinated in an Israeli attack on his car on Wednesday.

The Israeli military frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, in violation of international law, disproportionate force is always used and civilians are often killed or injured.

Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli regime since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.