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Emirati Banker Hamad Al Majidi Facilitates Elon Musk’s Starlink Support for Gaza

Since the beginning of the recent Palestinian crisis, banker Hamad Al Majidi has been aggressively commenting about it on social networking site X.

Emirati banker Hamad Al Majidi has been actively posting about the latest Palestinian crisis on social media platform X since it began on October 7.

On Saturday, he became part of a conversation with billionaire Elon Musk that resulted in the entrepreneur promising to deliver his satellite-based communications system Starlink to aid organizations in the besieged Palestinian city of Gaza.

Internet Cutoff in Gaza:

The move came after Israel cut off internet service for the Gaza Strip shortly before beginning a ground invasion. 

This resulted in thousands of Gazans, including journalists, medical staff, and aid workers, being unable to communicate with the outside world.

Public Appeal to Elon Musk:

Netizen users had requested Musk to provide SpaceX’s Starlink to Gaza, as he had done so to Ukraine in the aftermath of Russia’s February 2022 invasion of the country. 

He replied by saying he would support internationally recognized aid agencies. This is when Hamad stepped in with a list of organizations on the ground.

“I had an alert set for Elon Musk,” said Hamad, speaking to Khaleej Times. “So, when I saw that he had replied to a tweet about providing connectivity to Palestinian agencies, I did some quick research. I then gave him a list of some of the United Nation’s agencies on the ground.”

Musk’s Commitment:

An admirer of Musk, Hamad hoped that he would read the tweet. But Musk went one step further and replied, saying that he would support the agencies with Starlink.

Hamad said he was excited when his notifications pinged with a reply from Elon Musk. “I was glad he replied and that I could play a part in helping the oppressed Palestinians,” he said. “People had been campaigning for this for several days, and what matters the most is that people are getting the help they need.”

Public Support:

On Friday, Denmark-based Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis mentioned Musk and tweeted: “Gaza is under bombardment; the internet and telecommunications have been cut off. They need StarLink immediately.”

In a further exchange, Musk promised that “SpaceX will support communication links with internationally recognized aid organizations.”

Concerns and Musk’s Response:

This was when Hamad stepped in with his tweet that mentioned the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Volunteers, and the chief of UNICEF. Here is his message:

Hamad said that his account started to get 10 to 15 notifications every couple of minutes in the first few hours, but soon it snowballed into chaos. 

“The messages and notifications started pouring in,” he said. “But I am glad that some concrete action is being taken.”

Security Concerns:

Hours later, some users, including a minister, raised concerns that Musk’s communication links could be used for “terrorist activities” by Hamas militants.

Musk replied to this by saying the company “will take extraordinary measures to confirm that it is used only for purely humanitarian reasons” and that they will conduct “a security check with both the US and Israeli governments before turning on even a single terminal.”

Hope for the Future:

Later on, in a tweet written in Arabic, Hamad said that irrespective of whether Musk sent the devices or not, he considered it a win. 

“Israel may prevent him from sending Starlink devices, which will need electricity anyway, which is not currently available in Gaza,” he wrote. 

“It does not matter whether Elon or others respond. What is important is to convey the idea in a respectful manner and without offense, in the hope that it will be heard.”

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