Gaza internet blackout passes one-week mark, says monitor

Gaza internet blackout passes one-week mark, says monitor
Gaza internet blackout passes one-week mark, says monitor

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on January 19, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. Gaza residents have been largely without internet and telephone services for a week, an internet monitor said today, the longest outage since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7. — AFP pic

GAZA STRIP, Jan 19 — Gaza residents have been largely without internet and telephone services for a week, an internet monitor said today, the longest outage since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7.

Internet services in the Gaza Strip have been constantly disrupted throughout the war, with telecom firms blaming Israel’s bombardment of the besieged territory for the outages.

The “near-total telecoms blackout” has now lasted for 168 hours, NetBlocks posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The United Nations has warned that the blackouts are worsening the Palestinian territory’s already dire humanitarian situation.

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“The blackout of telecommunications prevents people in Gaza from accessing lifesaving information or calling for first responders and impedes other forms of humanitarian response,” the UN humanitarian agency Ocha said yesterday.

Fighting has ravaged Gaza since Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attacks on Israel that resulted in the death of about 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Hamas and other militants seized about 250 hostages and around 132 remain in Gaza, including at least 27 believed to have been killed.

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At least 24,762 Palestinians, about 70 per cent of them women, young children and adolescents, have been killed in Israeli bombardments and ground assaults, according to the Gaza health ministry’s latest figures. — AFP

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