Hamas invites Elon Musk to visit Gaza after he voices support for Israel

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A senior Hamas official invited tech entrepreneur Elon Musk to visit Gaza to “see the extent of destruction caused by the Israeli bombardment” – a day after Musk voiced support for Israel, saying that it is important to “deradicalize” the Palestinian territories.

“We invite him to visit Gaza to see the extent of the massacres and destruction committed against the people of Gaza, in compliance with the standards of objectivity and credibility,” Hamas’ Osama Hamdan said in a press conference in Beirut on Tuesday.

On Monday, Musk, who owns social media platform X (formerly Twitter), visited Tel Aviv and toured the site of the Hamas’ October 7 assault on Israel – Kfar Aza kibbutz – and declared his commitment to do “whatever was necessary to stop the spread of hatred.” He also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and voiced his support saying that one challenge was “ultimately stopping the propaganda that is convincing people to engage in, you know, murder”.

While Netanyahu said that Hamas must be destroyed, Musk replied with: “There’s no choice”.

“I’d like to help to rebuild Gaza after the war, but it is important to first deradicalize the Palestinian territories,” the US billionaire asserted.

During his visit, Musk also received a symbolic dog tag from the father of an Israeli taken captive by Hamas in Gaza and promised to wear it around his neck until all hostages were set free. The metal tag given by Malki Shem-Tov, the father of hostage Omer Shem-Tov, read: “Our hearts are hostage in Gaza.”

The Israel-Hamas war

The war between Israel and Hamas has entered its eighth week since the Hamas on October 7 attacked Israel, killing at least 1,200 people. According to the health ministry in Gaza, over 16,000 people, including thousands of children, have been killed in the war so far.

Meanwhile, a four-day truce deal between Israel and Hamas – which was extended by two days on Tuesday – brought Gaza its first respite after weeks of fighting and bombardment. The stipulates the release of hostages held by Hamas in exchange for Palestinian security prisoners.