Israel's Eurovision webcast hacked as protests continue

Netta making a grand entrée at the Orange Carpet

A brief but bloody uptick in cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza militants two weeks ago brought fears that the contest - which culminates in Saturday's final with an expected appearance by Madonna - could be a target.

Contestants from Australia, Iceland, Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, Czech Republic, San Marino and Slovenia moved ahead after all participating nations announced their selections, which are divided between a professional jury and phone-in viewers.

"At a certain point, there was a takeover - apparently by Hamas - of our digital broadcast", KAN chief Eldad Koblenz said Wednesday.

"But I am happy to say that within a few minutes we managed to assume control over this phenomenon", he added.

Earlier this month, Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with air raids, artillery and gunboat shooting as armed factions in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets at towns and settlements in southern Israel.

Madonna intends to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv, Israel, this weekend, despite calls by activists for her to boycott the event, the singer said Tuesday.

Between May 4 and May 5, Palestinian terrorist groups fired almost 700 rockets and missiles at Israel, killing four and sending dozens to the hospital.


Once those 10 are taken, those 20 acts will perform the Grand Final alongside representatives from the host country, Israel, and "the big five" - Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK.

The "Like A Prayer" pop superstar, who is due to perform at Eurovision, responded to protests from pro-Palestinian groups who want companies and performers to boycott Israel in a statement on Tuesday (May 14).

Many artists continue to play Israel while condemning the ongoing bloodshed in the Israeli/Palestine conflict, including Nick Cave, who previous year wrote an open letter calling "the cultural boycott of Israel... cowardly and shameful". The second semi-final is on Thursday.

"If there is no signed contract this week, she will not be on the stage".

Calls for her to boycott were led by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) who released an open letter asking her to "not undermine" the Palestinian struggle for "freedom, justice and equality".

The BDS - modelled after the South African anti-apartheid movement - was formed in 2005 by more than 200 Palestinian civil society organisations, urging non-violent pressure on Israel until it complies with worldwide law.

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