Israel's Eurovision webcast hacked with animated blast images

Israel's Eurovision webcast hacked with animated blast images

But Madonna's participation unleashed a storm of protests from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has for years been pushing for investors and artists to shun Israel for its decades-long occupation of Palestinian territories.

A statement from PACBI said: "Israel's decades-old regime of apartheid, apartheid and settler-colonialism explicitly uses global artists and events to cover up its human rights abuses".

Contestants Sarah McTernan of Ireland pose on the "Orange Carpet" during the opening ceremony of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

A group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals have criticised Madonna's defence of her upcoming performance in Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest.

U.S. music icon Madonna has come under pressure to cancel her performance at this year's contest.

Her appearance is being bankrolled by Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams but Eurovision organisers said at a press conference on Tuesday they have not secured a performance contract with the artist.

The Israeli authorities have confirmed that they were taking unprecedented security measures to provide security and safety in Israeli towns in general, particularly in the Tel Aviv area and the center, with the holding of the Eurovision song contest.

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"People have spoken on behalf of the EBU, for many months now, without it being authorised", Mr Sand said.

A source told Israeli publication Haartez one of the songs she sings will be a classic track, while the other will be her new single.

On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters marched in Tel Aviv before the first semi-finals.

A total of 17 worldwide acts took to the stage on Tuesday night but only 10 moved on to the grand final following a 50-50 vote split between the public and an global jury.

"We asked Palestine - "do you want us to come?' 'No - do not come" and that's what you do, you respect the people who are being oppressed", said guitarist Joff Oddie. "I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this bad cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace", the statement continued. Mercury Prize-winning band Wolf Alice backed the Eurovision boycott.

The hack comes amid a violent flare up of tensions between Israel and Palestinians which began on May 4, when hundreds of rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, further escalating tensions in the region.

Miller-Heidke will have to do it again on Saturday May 18 to win the controversial competition, which critics say has been used to whitewash the global reputation of Israel and its treatment of neighbouring Palestine.

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