The Israeli government is holding discussions with SpaceX about introducing its Starlink satellite internet service to the country, particularly for communities near conflict zones along the border.
Currently, Starlink internet is not available at all in Israel. If a deal is reached, it would mark the first time the service has been introduced in the country, even on a limited basis. Israel is looking into the technology as a way to improve communications and connectivity during wartime when infrastructure can be damaged.
Satellite Internet Provides Critical Edge in Conflict
The value of satellite internet like Starlink became clear during the war in Ukraine last year. When Russia invaded, Ukrainian forces relied heavily on Starlink terminals provided by SpaceX to maintain communications when cell networks and ground-based internet were disrupted.
However, the role of private satellite internet providers in conflicts remains controversial. Earlier this year, it was revealed SpaceX CEO Elon Musk initially refused to activate Starlink in Ukraine prior to a planned attack on Russia’s navy. Musk later said that agreeing to the request could have made SpaceX appear complicit in escalating the war. In addition, you can also read an article on- SpaceX Launches 15 Starlink Satellites on Falcon 9 Rocket
It is uncertain when Starlink internet could become available in Israel under a potential deal or how many users it may serve initially. The Israeli government has not provided details on the talks with SpaceX. It’s also unclear if the terminals would be purchased directly from SpaceX or through its Starshield defense-focused business unit.
The Israeli Minister of Communications expressed optimism about introducing the Starlink service to improve internet access, especially for communities near conflict zones. But the timing and scope of the potential SpaceX deal remain unclear.