Online hacktivist collective Anonymous has knocked 43 Israeli government websites offline in response to the killing of 14-year-old Palestinian-American boy Orwah Hammed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
Conducted under the banner #OpOrwahHammad, the cyber-attacks knocked some of the main Israeli government websites offline using distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Among the websites affected were those of the IDF, Office of the Prime Minister, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Securities Authority, Ministry of Industry and Trade, State of Israel Mail and Israeli Immigration.
Anonymous said in a statement published to coincide with the attacks:
#OpOrwahHammad has officially kicked-off now, and Israeli government websites are feeling it. Anonymous is targeting Israeli government websites in protest of the killing of young Orwah Hammad and many Palestinians alike. The world will not stand by such brutality. Israeli Government beware for you should have Expected Us.
The hacktivist group also published a list of 43 websites it claims were knocked offline during the attack.
At the time of writing, some of the websites on the list remain offline (such as the Ministry of Defence website) while others are back online (including the IDF website).
The cyber-attacks were carried out in the name of Hammad, a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the head in the village of Silwad, north of Ramallah, on 24 October.
The shooting of the Palestinian-American teenager led the US State Department to call for a “speedy and transparent investigation” into the death.
An Israeli army spokesman told Reuters Israeli forces “managed to prevent an attack when they encountered a Palestinian man hurling a molotov cocktail at them on the main road next to Silwad. They opened fire and they confirmed a hit”.
The shooting happened during clashes in Arab areas in and around Jerusalem, in which several other people were injured.