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Gaza Strip Faces Critical Telecommunications Blackout Amid Energy Crisis

Energy shortages lead to a complete communications shutdown in Gaza, impacting rescue efforts and daily life.

Whatโ€™s the News: All telecommunication services in Gaza strip went out of service on November 16, 2023 after the energy sources to sustain the network were depleted with no means of refuelling, announced Paltel and Jawwal, two of the largest telecommunications companies in the region. According to Amnesty International, this will throw Gaza Strip into another total communications blackout and worsen an already catastrophic humanitarian situation.

Earlier, the two companies expressed concerns on microblogging platform X about the fuel shortage and its impact on data centres and the overall telecom network.

With this, Gaza has entered a blackout similar to an internet shutdown, as explained by Amnesty International in a press release:

โ€œGaza has been facing connectivity below 30 percent of pre-conflict levels since 11 October 2023, according to data by IODA and Netblocks. Another telecommunications blackout not only means cutting off Gazans from each other and the rest of the world, but also preventing injured people and those trapped under the rubble from being rescued. People will be deprived of access to lifesaving information, such as finding areas of safety or contacting emergency services. The critical work of humanitarian agencies will also be severely disrupted, as workers lose contact with each other.โ€

Some interesting points on restricted internet access in recent past

  • On October 28, Elon Musk, the CEO of X, offered to provide internet connectivity to โ€œinternationally recognized aid organisationsโ€ in Gaza via its Starlink network.

  • Indiaโ€™s Manipur faces a similar state of blackout for over 180 days. While internet in some districts within the state have been restored, the shutdown has severely hindered everyday life with hurdles in being able to access schools, banks, food and basic necessities bringing their โ€œlives and livelihood to a standstill.โ€ The situation is Gaza will likely be much worse with reports of air strikes in the regionโ€™s hospitals.

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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