Internet and phone networks were down across the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the Palestinian telecommunications agency said, in the second such blackout in the besieged territory in less than a week.

“To our good people in the beloved country, we are sorry to announce that communications and internet services have been completely cut off in Gaza,” the Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel) said on X.

Global network monitor Netblocks confirmed that Gaza “is in the midst of a new internet blackout with high impact to the last remaining major operator, Paltel.

“The incident will be experienced as a total loss of telecommunications by most residents,” it said in a post on X.

An AFP journalist in Gaza confirmed the loss of communications, adding that his phone still had signal because he was using an international SIM card.

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Another AFP journalist said only people with Israeli or Egyptian phone lines could still use their mobiles in the border town of Rafah.

Internet and phone networks were completely cut last week but were restored at the weekend.

The government of Palestinian militant group Hamas had at the time accused Israel of causing the shutdown in order to “perpetrate massacres” in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian telecoms provider Jawwal had blamed Israel’s “heavy bombardment” of the territory for the blackout.

Gaza has in recent days seen fierce battles between Israeli ground troops and militants as Israel has pressed its mission to “crush” Hamas after it went on a rampage in southern communities killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians.

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Since then, Israel has hit back with a relentless air and artillery bombardment, which the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza says has now killed more than 8,500 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women or children.

 

AFP