The websites of at least two Israeli media outlets were hacked on Monday morning with warnings form Iranian propaganda video and linked to the second anniversary of the assassination of top general Qassem Soleimani. The two media outlets to be affected were the website of The Jerusalem Post and the Twitter account of Maariv newspaper.
Both The Jerusalem Post and Maariv have the same owners and after both the accounts were hacked it displayed the same message. The website of The Jerusalem Post showed a scene from an Iranian missile drill in December in which Tehran destroyed a mock-up of Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona.
Monday Morning Shock
Readers were surprised on Monday morning to find the shocking images from December where Iran destroyed the mock-up of Israel's nuclear reactor. The photograph shows the rocket being fired from the iconic ring of Soleimani, with the caption: "We are close to you where you do not think about it." The caption was both in English and Hebrew.
The Twitter account of Maariv also carried the same message. However, it was soon removed.
The Jerusalem Post was quick to acknowledge the massive and embarrassing hack and tweeted: "We are aware of the apparent hacking of our website, alongside a direct threat of Israel. We are working to resolve the issue."
However, it wasn't an easy task for the engineers at The Jerusalem Post to get back things under control. The site was back online only about two hours after the hack.
The hack definitely is a major embarrassment for Israel and comes exactly two years after Soleimani was killed.
A New Threat
On January 3, 2020, Former US president Donald Trump sent shock waves through Iran with the targeted killing of Soleimani, who was commander of the Quds Force, the foreign operation's arm of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards. The Quds force is designated by the United States as a terrorist organization.
Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad, which was ordered by Trump, along with his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. This infuriated Iran and its allies.
Monday's hack comes on the second death anniversary of Soleimani. Iran's grudge against the United States and its allies have only grown since then and they have time and again reminded the world about the incident, the latest being the hacking of the websites of the two Israeli outlets.
Five days after Soleimani's death, Iran retaliated by charging missiles at the US air base in Ain al-Assad housing American troops in Iraq, and another near Arbil in the north.
Monday's hack is Iran's way of marking Soleimani's death anniversary, a tribute to him. Iran is planning week-long activities to commemorate Soleimani's killing. However, the main event will be held on Monday.