A Palestinian telecommunications company said that “heavy shelling in the eleventh hour has destroyed all remaining international routes connecting Gaza to the outside world.” According to Palestinian authorities and at least one Internet traffic group, the Gaza Strip lost all internet connection on Friday after Israeli airstrikes in the region. The power outage will make it even more difficult for Gazans to communicate with the outside world. It comes as Israel stepped up shelling of the Gaza Strip on Friday following the militant Hamas attack on Israeli settlements on October 7.
Wrote the Palestinian telecommunications company PaltelInternet monitoring organization NetBlocks said Paltel was the last major telecommunications company operating in the Gaza Strip. A Paltel employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media, told POLITICO on Friday that repairs were unlikely due to the ongoing bombing and lack of equipment and supplies. He added that the company’s employees are hiding in Gaza and trying to maintain contact.
The supply disruption could be a harbinger of a widely expected ground invasion of Gaza, where residents have already suffered heavy casualties from airstrikes and targeted attacks. Israeli Army spokesman, Rear Admiral.Daniel Hagari told reporters on Friday that ground forces were “expanding their activities” in Gaza and “acting with great force … to achieve the war objectives.” , NetBlocks and internet traffic group Cloudflare were among the organizations that noticed a sharp decline in connectivity in Gaza on Friday. David Belson, head of data analytics at Cloudflare, said in an email that the company has observed “a decline in traffic in several provinces of the Gaza Strip” and has been tracking the overall decline in traffic across nearly a dozen of Gaza’s major internet service providers since October . .7 attacks.
Alp Toker, founder and director of NetBlocks, said on Friday that his company had experienced “the largest internet connection disruption in Gaza today” and warned that “the situation will result in a complete or near-total blackout for many.” . Internet. Access at this stage.» “Today’s disruptions are due to bombing and direct damage,” Toker said. “We now have confirmation from the operator that this was a kinetic impact and that the conditions are consistent with a sudden failure.”
The Israeli military did not respond to POLITICO’s question about whether internet providers had been targeted by airstrikes or airstrikes. However, it issued a statement saying there had been increased attacks in Gaza “in recent hours” and that the Israeli Air Force had significantly targeted “terrorist infrastructure.” A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the lack of internet connectivity, and the State Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Critical infrastructure was the main target of attacks during the Israel-Hamas conflict. An Israeli airstrike destroyed Gaza’s only power plant in 2014, and Israeli airstrikes in recent weeks have targeted at least 7,000 facilities in Gaza. Paltel has struggled to provide services in recent years and suspended telephone and internet services in Gaza in 2017 due to an electricity crisis. Hamas reportedly destroyed at least four Israeli communications towers on the Gaza border during the October 7 attack. Al Jazeera news service told POLITICO that it could continue to broadcast and communicate from Gaza via satellite links.
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