• The illustration showed a rocket being fired from the iconic ring Soleimani wore
  • The Twitter account of another newspaper, Maariv, too was hacked 
  • Reports said no group immediately claimed responsibility for the hack

The websites of two Israeli news media, including The Jerusalem Post, were hacked Monday, on the second anniversary of the assassination of top general Qassem Soleimani.

The website of The Jerusalem Post showed a scene from an Iranian missile drill last month in which Tehran destroyed a mock-up of Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona, reported The Times Of Israel.

The illustration also showed a rocket being fired from the iconic ring Soleimani wore. A caption that read "We are close to you where you do not think about it," appeared alongside the image in both English and Hebrew.

Besides The Jerusalem Post, the Twitter account of the Maariv newspaper too was hacked. The same message appeared there as well, but was taken down immediately. Both Maariv and The Jerusalem Post are owned by a Tel Aviv-based company controlled by Israeli businessman Eli Azur.

"We are aware of the apparent hacking of our website, alongside a direct threat of Israel. We are working to resolve the issue," the Post tweeted. The site was back online about two hours after the hack.

However, the mobile app of the Post did not appear to be affected. Other major Israeli news websites too worked normally. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the hack.

According to The Jerusalem Post, it is unclear if the hackers were from Iran or supporters from outside the country or if they were state-sponsored.

General Soleimani died two years ago in an American drone attack near the Baghdad airport. General Suleimani was Iran’s most powerful security and intelligence commander and was considered a terrorist by the U.S and Israel. However, he was lauded as a hero by Iran.

Israel first publicly acknowledged its involvement in the killing of Soleimani in late December. Israel reportedly "had access to Soleimani’s numbers" and gave that intelligence to the United States.

The first public acknowledgment came when former Israeli intelligence chief Maj. Gen.Tamir Heyman told a magazine that there were "two significant and important assassinations during my term as head of army intelligence."

"Assassinating Soleimani was an achievement, since our main enemy, in my eyes, are the Iranians," Heyman told the magazine.

This isn't the first time that The Jerusalem Post faces a cyber attack. Iran-supporting hackers previously targeted its page in 2020 with an illustration of Tel Aviv burning along with the image of then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The words "Be ready for a big surprise" appeared alongside the illustration.

Glib Ivanov-Tolpintsev, 28, is suspected of hacking into tens of thousands of computers and selling their access codes on the dark web, the underground version of the internet
Representation. AFP / Fred TANNEAU