Two main news channels in Israel were hacked and the attackers broadcasted a 30-second clip showing images of Muslim holy sites and Quranic scriptures. The timing of this hacking is quite sensitive as the news channels were hacked when the parliament was about to start voting for passing a bill aimed at banning Muslims’ call to prayer. The hack attack believed to be a work of Muslim hackers, occurred on Tuesday night while the voting was to commence on Wednesday.
It must be noted that Israeli lawmakers have proposed a bill to ban Muslim call-to-prayer (called Adhan or Azaan) in Arabic) citing that it is causing noise pollution in the country. Adhaan is a melodic verse that represents a call to prayer for Muslims around the world and it is generally broadcast five times a day at specific timings from the mosques.
During the attack, the regular transmission of the private news channels “Channel 2 and Channel 10” were interrupted and instead of the evening program, the screen showed holy cities of Muslims and the sound of Adhan filled the background.
On Twitter, Channel 2 confirmed that the news about the hack was real: “hackers took over the Channel 2 news program to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer”
The hacking lasted for a short span and while the images were being displayed, messages also appeared on the screen in the Hebrew language, which in English meant “God is the greatest,” “God’s punishment,” and “the fire that inflames the heart.”
האקרים השתלטו על שידורי מהדורת חדשות 2, ובמקום – שידרו קריאת מואזין pic.twitter.com/lCmDajZXh4
— החדשות (@NewsChannelIL) November 29, 2016
Apparently, the hackers were hinting at the recent wildfires that erupted in Israel and surprisingly the authorities found it difficult to settle it down, due to which tens of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere to save their lives.
The preliminary voting for the abovementioned bill was to be started on Wednesday. It is notable that Muslims are not at all happy with this bill because it will ban the use of loudspeakers to announce Adhaan in the morning and at night. This particular bill has been sponsored by the right-wing, fundamentalist Jewish Home party. The party amended the bill previous week to eliminate the Jewish use of sirens for announcing the beginning of Sabbath from the bill.
In 2014, hackers from Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades hacked live telecast of Israel’s Channel 10 TV Station and defaced it with messages against Israeli airstrikes over Gaza Strip. About 9 months ago, Hizbullah hackers hacked Israeli security camera systems in government buildings in Haifa and Tel Aviv to keep an eye on government officials.