Billionaire Elon Musk, who is currently on a visit to Israel, was on Monday (local time) gifted a symbolic dog tag by the father of a hostage, with “our hearts are hostage in Gaza” engraved in it. In response, Musk said he would wear the dog tag “every day until your loved ones are released”.
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Fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas has paused after a four-day truce deal was agreed. Under the agreement, Hamas released 69 hostages while Israel freed around 150 Palestinian prisoners. Both sides are expected to exchange hostages as the truce has been extended for another two days.
In a meeting between Israeli President Isaaz Herzog, Musk, and families of hostages, Rachel, an Israeli mother, showed the tech mogul a video, on her phone, of her son, Hersh, being abducted by Hamas despite being badly injured.
Malki, the father of another hostage, presented Musk with a symbolic dog tag inscribed “our hearts are hostage in Gaza”. A video of the meeting was tweeted by President Herzog’s office.
During the meeting, President Herzog told Musk that the latter had a “huge role to play” to combat antisemitism, news agency AFP reported. The billionaire, who is also the owner of X (formerly Twitter), has been accused of amplifying anti-Jewish hatred on the social media site since he took in October last year.
The White House had also accused Musk of “abhorrent promotion” of antisemitism after he endorsed a conspiracy theory, which claimed that Jews were stoking hatred and weakening White majorities.
“Unfortunately, we are inundated by antisemitism, which is Jew hatred. You have a huge role to play. And I think we need to fight it together because on the platforms which you lead, unfortunately, there’s a harbouring of a lot of antisemitism,” the Israeli President was quoted as saying by AFP.
The meeting came Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took Musk on a tour of the Kfar Aza kibbutz near the border with Gaza where Hamas terrorists launched its attack on October 7. Musk was also accompanied by defence officials.
Earlier on Monday, Israel said it reached an agreement with Musk that SpaceX would provide Starlink satellite internet services in Gaza only with its approval. Musk had earlier backed the idea of Starlink for the war-hit Palestinian enclave.
Israel’s Communications Minister, Shlomo Karhi, posted on X that Starlink satellite units would only operate in Israel and the Gaza Strip with his ministry’s approval.