Pro-Gaza hackers target Israeli websites

A number of frequently-visited Israeli websites have been defaced amid indications of an imminent full-scale ground offensive into Gaza.
Since an Israeli military campaign against the Gaza Strip began on Saturday, various Israeli websites have come under cyber attack.

The widely-circulated Israeli daily's website,, has been defaced and is now a picture guide to the progressive takeover of Palestinian land by settlers since 1946.

The website, which is widely acknowledged as pro-Zionism, also draws parallels between the US conduct in Iraq and the Israeli siege on Gaza with a picture showing Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks above an image of American soldiers torturing detainees in Abu Ghraib prison.

Hackers also hacked into the Bank Discount website on Friday, according to Ha'aretz, publishing further messages in condemnation of Israeli crimes.

Bank officials responded by assuring customers that their accounts had not been touched.
The number of websites defaced since the Saturday air operations against the Gaza Strip has reportedly been in the thousands with small businesses and vanity websites having been affected most.

"RitualistaS GrouP Hacked your System!!! The world isn't insurance!!! For a better world," PC World quoted the website of Israel's Galoz Electronics Ltd as reading after it was hacked on Wednesday.

One hacker, called Cold Z3ro, claims to have hacked nearly 5,000 webpages, says Gary Warner, the director of research in computer forensics with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
According to the forensics expert, the majority of hacking groups operate out of Morocco, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran.

Israel began air operations against the Gaza Strip -- home to 1.5 million Palestinians -- on Saturday. The attacks have so far left over 430 Palestinians dead and more than 2250 injured.

Israel says through its military campaign, it seeks to topple the Hamas movement, which took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after winning the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections in January 2006.

In retaliation to the attacks on Gaza, Hamas has been launching rocket strikes against Israel. Unlike the state-of-the-art weapons and ammunition Israel holds, the homemade Qassam rockets rarely cause casualties.

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