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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Third Communications Blackout Hits Gaza Amid Heavy Strikes

Gaza was plunged right into a communications blackout on Sunday for the third time in 10 days, once more leaving its individuals with out entry to web or cellphone companies as evening fell and Israel’s heavy bombardment of the enclave continued.

The widespread blackout started shortly earlier than sundown, round 4:20 p.m. native time, based on NetBlocks, an web monitoring service.

The Palestine Purple Crescent Society stated on social media that the blackout affected greater than two million civilians, reducing off entry to emergency medical companies because the bombings continued, and that, as in the course of the earlier blackouts, it had misplaced contact with its groups in Gaza. UNRWA, the U.N. company that aids Palestinians, additionally stated it was unable to succeed in “the overwhelming majority” of its crew within the enclave.

The director normal of the World Well being Group, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated it was “very involved” in regards to the outage and stories of heavy bombardment within the enclave.

“With out connectivity, individuals who want speedy medical consideration can’t contact hospitals and ambulances,” he stated on social media. “All channels of communication should be restored instantly.”

The blackout was confirmed on Sunday by Gaza’s predominant telecommunications supplier, Paltel, which stated that the “full interruption of all communications and Web companies” was due to a cutoff “by the Israeli facet.”

The director of NetBlocks, Alp Toker, stated in an interview on Sunday that his group was unable to right away decide whether or not the blackout had been attributable to Israel taking technical measures or by bodily harm to Gaza’s telecommunications infrastructure.

He stated that the lack of connectivity in Gaza on Sunday was “technically absolutely constant” with the earlier two blackouts, the primary of which lasted practically 36 hours and the second of which lasted about 10 hours.

“No matter occurred in every of these is occurring once more,” Mr. Toker stated.

After the primary blackout, two American officers, talking on the situation of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the difficulty, stated the USA believed that Israel was accountable for the cutoff of communications and that they’d urged Israeli counterparts to do what they might to revive service.

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