8:52 PM ET, October 27, 2023
Experts have warned that Gaza could face days without internet
From CNN’s Sean Lingas
A Palestinian telecommunications provider said Friday there was a “complete disruption of all communications and Internet services” in Gaza. Israel continued to attack the coastal area The Israel Defense Forces announced it was “expanding ground operations” along with airstrikes.
Independent internet watchdog groups told CNN it was the worst internet blackout in Gaza since the latest war between Israel and Hamas began on October 7, raising fears that Palestinian citizens could be unable to communicate with the outside world as the fighting escalates.
“We regret to announce that all communications and Internet services with the Gaza Strip have been completely disrupted in light of the ongoing occupation,” the Palestinian telecommunications company, known as Baltel, said in a Facebook post Friday evening local time. Baltel provides internet and cell service in Gaza and the West Bank.
“The heavy bombardment of the past hour has destroyed all remaining international routes connecting Gaza to the outside world,” Baldel said on Facebook. “This destruction is in addition to the routes previously destroyed during the ongoing occupation, which has led to the cutting off of all communication services from our beloved Gaza Strip.”
Doug Madori, director of internet analytics at Kentik, a California firm that monitors online connectivity worldwide, said it could take days for Gazans to restore internet connectivity broadly because of the ongoing bombing and humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The current outages are “the worst Gaza has ever experienced,” Madori said.
“The Gaza war in 2014 was an experience [internet] Outages but it’s nothing like that,” Madori told CNN.
London-based Internet monitoring firm NetBlocks told CNN that Friday’s outage marked a “turning point” in the Gazans’ ability to “inform the outside world about the situation on the ground.”
“Today’s incident is the largest disruption to Internet connectivity in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict,” NetBlocks said.