According to recent reports, humanitarian organizations and international media have lost contact with their colleagues in the Gaza Strip due to the intensified Israeli bombardment. The largest telecommunications provider in Gaza, Paltel, announced a complete severance of all communications and internet services as a result of the Israeli strikes. This has led to a blackout of internet connectivity in the region.
Netblocks, a company that monitors global internet connectivity, confirmed the information blackout and described it as the largest disruption to internet connectivity in Gaza since the conflict began. Multiple international media organizations, including RT, have also experienced partial loss of contact with their crews and stringers on the ground. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have informed news organizations that they cannot guarantee the safety of their employees and have urged them to take necessary measures to ensure their safety.
Maya Manna, the head of RT Arabic, reported that there is currently no contact with correspondents and photographers operating in Gaza. The only message received so far came from an RT stringer in the area, who described the situation as a very violent bombing. Local reporter, Masoud, expressed fear and terror among the people in Gaza, stating that everyone is frightened and there is screaming everywhere.
An NBC News crew member, who was able to send a message to colleagues, reported that all internet and electricity have been cut off in the region. They described the situation as difficult and dangerous, with extensive shelling from artillery and air attacks. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also lost contact with their colleagues in Gaza, raising concerns about the safety of 1 million children in the region.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) expressed deep concern for their Palestinian colleagues, as there is no contact with them. They particularly worry about the patients, medical staff, and families taking shelter at Al Shifa hospital, one of Gaza’s largest medical centers.
On the other hand, Israel has accused Hamas of using hospitals as headquarters for their terrorist activities. They pointed specifically to Al Shifa hospital and released a video illustrating the different locations within the hospital allegedly being used for planning and implementing terrorist activities. In response, Hamas claims that Israel is cutting off communications to cover up their crimes without any oversight or accountability and to create an image of victory.
The escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a severe communication blackout in Gaza. Humanitarian organizations, international media, and the people on the ground are facing immense challenges due to the loss of contact. The safety and well-being of those in the region, including medical staff, patients, and innocent civilians, are at stake. The international community must take notice and work towards an immediate resolution to prevent further suffering and protect the lives of those affected by the conflict.