The armed wing of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, hacked a number of Israeli phones this week as part of a wider cyber attack operation in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners participating in a historic mass hunger strike.
The cyber attacks were launched on the sites and accounts of both Israeli individuals and institutions affiliated with the Zionist government.
In a statement about the attack, the PFLP members said they "caused disputes" between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the commanders of cyber units within Israel’s security agencies.
Officials from Israel's security agency Shin Bet, the national intelligence agency Mossad, the Israeli Defense Ministry and the Israeli Army wrote a letter to Netanyahu, warning that the powers bestowed to the Cyber Defense Authority made it more challenging to thwart cyber attacks on Israel. The Cyber Defense Authority responded by saying it had recently thwarted a large-scale cyber attack targeting over 120 organizations.
In response to the PFLP’s attack, the Cyber Defense Authority threatened to retaliate by saying it would attack Palestinian and Arab websites. The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades’ security team replied saying, "We accept the challenge.”
The brigade also claimed to have previously hacked “multiples websites of the occupation” and that it obtained “important information in an ongoing attack defying the Zionist security and technology system," Ma’an reported.
Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners are entering their 15th day of the strike, with Israeli authorities still unwilling to heed to any of their demands.
Throughout the world, however, many groups have expressed their solidarity with the strikers. Most recently, the #SaltWaterChallenge has made the rounds on the internet, where those in solidarity with the strikers film themselves drinking salt water in order to raise awareness of the prisoners’ plight. It is believed to have been started by Aarab Marwan Barghouti, son of Marwan Barghouti, a former Fatah leader and a lead instigator of the strike.