Just as news of the early release of a book about Gaza was made public, hackers mobilized, taking down the personal website of the prominent Palestinian writer, Ramzy Baroud. In the past week, the author’s personal website, ramzybaroud.net has been hacked twice.
Hackers seized the site most recently on Tuesday and maintained their hold on the website till the early hours of Wednesday. This came only hours after PalestineChronicle.com, a 10-year-old online newspaper, founded and co-edited by the author was hacked, apparently by the same group originating from Israel.
The author’s new book, which will be released in December to coincide with the anniversary of the Israeli onslaught against Gaza, is entitled: My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. The book promises a personal account of the history behind the ongoing tragedy in Gaza.
“We were on guard the moment we began promoting the Gaza book. We knew that this would happen to block the word about Gaza from making it to a larger audience, but we didn’t expect it so soon,” said Suzanne Russ, managing editor of the Palestine Chronicle.
This also happened shortly after we permitted site access to readers from Israel.
That access was denied nearly a year ago when an Israeli hacker operation, calling themselves, “Blue Dolphin” took down the Palestine Chronicle during Israel’s so-called Operation Cast Lead against Gaza. The Chronicle’s coverage of the massacre proved popular and garnered nearly a million unique visits in a few weeks.
The Israeli seizure of the Chronicle had then generated a hacking war online that took down many Israeli and Palestinian websites.
“Many of our readers in Israel wrote us requesting to unblock their access,” said Russ. “A year later we obliged and this is what happened. Strangely enough the new hacking was also related to Gaza, this time to block the news of a Gaza book that has won the support of many leading activists, authors and journalists around the world.”
She urged readers to “continue to visit PalestineChronicle.com, JustMedia.net and RamzyBaroud.net,”
“More importantly continue to spread the truth about Gaza, buy and read the book and let your friends know about it. This is what our opposition is trying to prevent, and this is what they will always fail to achieve,” she said. “We refuse to be silenced and we will continue with our mission.”