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An Israeli hacker group called “The Sparrows of Prey” claimed Monday that it targeted Iran’s national fuel supply system and managed to disable most of the fuel pumps throughout the Islamic Republic.

The attack may have been in response to an attempted cyber attack on Israel’s Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat about three weeks ago. Israel’s National Cyber Array announced that a hacker group affiliated with the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence was behind the cyber terror. The attack failed to disable the systems in the hospital.


“Khomenei! Playing with fire has a price,” wrote “The Sparrows of Prey” group in a message published on social media. “We will respond to your evil provocations in the region.”

Israeli journalist Doron Kadosh reported that the hacker group clarified that the cyber attack was carried out in a controlled manner, with advance warning sent to Iran’s emergency services, and leaving some of the fuel pumps active. The group published screenshots announcing, “In light of the events that will happen shortly, it is recommended to leave all emergency pumps on standby.”

Iranian Deputy Minister of Oil, Jalil Salari, said in a statement quoted by the semi-official Iranian Tasnim News Agency that 60 percent of the country’s gasoline supply stations were disrupted. “Specialized teams are working all over the country and it was take at least six to seven hours for refueling conditions to return to normal. By the end of today, refueling conditions will return to normal,” he said.

Kadosh commented, “I know of only one country in the world that even when it attacks on such a wide scale, it maintains restraint, control and minimal harm to innocent civilians.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.