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Telecommunications services gradually returns in Gaza after 8-day blackout

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published January 19,2024

Telecommunications and internet services gradually returned to Gaza on Friday evening after an 8-day communications blackout for the besieged enclave from the outside world.

In a statement, Paltel Group, the provider of communications services in the Gaza Strip, announced that its technical teams had been working over the past days to repair the damage to the internal network infrastructure "caused by the continued aggression on the Strip."

It said that two of its staff were killed on Saturday while trying to fix the telecommunications network by an Israeli artillery shell, bringing the toll among its staff killed in the course of the Israeli onslaught against Gaza to 14.

Communication and internet services were disrupted on Jan. 12 in most parts of the Gaza Strip, marking the ninth outage since Oct. 7.

Paltel is the largest provider of cellular and internet communication services in the Gaza Strip and the exclusive provider of fixed communication services.

Ooredoo, another telecom operator, stated on Friday that its telecommunication services are still disrupted in the central and southern Gaza Strip, while its services in the northern parts are functioning.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the GazaStrip since a cross-border attack by Hamas which Tel Aviv says killed 1,200 people.

At least 24,762 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and 62,108 injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza's population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.