Newscasts on Israeli Channels 2 and 10 were temporarily disrupted on Tuesday evening by hackers suspected to be pro-Palestinian Arab activists, Haaretz reports.
During the disruption, which lasted about half a minute, images of Muslim holy sites were shown with Muslim prayers playing in the background.
Images from the recent fires in Israel were also shown, along with the words "Allah is great" written in Hebrew. The disruption only affected the broadcast being streamed from an open satellite link. Subscribers to Israel's YES satellite television were not affected by the incident.
Israel's broadcasting authority said in response that "this is a hostile takeover of the satellite carrying the broadcast. We view this with the utmost severity and consider an act of sabotage." It added it was working with law enforcement officials and the defense establishment to investigate the incident.
This is not the first time that pro-Palestinian Arab hackers have taken over the Israeli television airwaves. In 2014, during Israel’s counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, Hamas terrorists were able to temporarily take over the broadcast of Channel 10.
Some viewers who tuned in to the channel reported seeing wounded persons from Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. The pictures of the wounded were accompanied by the following text, "Your government chose the opening hour of this campaign. If your government does not agree to our terms, then prepare yourself for an extended stay in shelters.”
Hamas did the same to both Channel 10 and Channel 2 during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. WATCH