A number of Israeli websites were taken over Sunday by anti-Israel hackers, officials said. In retaliation, Israeli hackers broke into anti-Israel websites.
A wide scale of Israeli sites were allegedly hacked early Sunday, including those for the Israel Police, Prime Minister's Office, the Israel Securities Authority, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry and the Central Bureau of Statistics, Haaretz reported. Most were running again by Sunday morning.
Some government agencies denied being hacked.
The hackers, who were affiliated with the group Anonymous, said they were against Israeli policies in Gaza and the West Bank and planned to wipe Israel "off the map of the Internet."
"You have not stopped your endless human rights violations," the hackers said in an online post addressed to Israel's government. "You have not stopped illegal settlements. You have not respected the cease-fire [ending Operation Pillar of Defense in November]. You have shown that you do not respect international law."
Meanwhile, Israeli hackers broke into the Anonymous website, OpIsrael.com, on which the Anonymous hackers coordinated the attack on Israeli sites, The Jerusalem Post reported.
An Israeli hacker, under in user-name EhIsR, posted under a heading titled "A few forgotten facts" that "Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, 2,000 years before the rise of Islam."
Roni Becher, the head of the cyberattack division of the Avnet information security company, said: "At this stage, we are mainly seeing a buildup of tension and power struggles between Israeli hackers and hackers from various groups who have joined Anonymous. Anonymous hackers are updating lists of websites they intend to attack."
"In general, it is apparent that many organizations are making efforts to stop the attack, or at least to minimize damages," he added.