Before Israel launched is ground assault on Gaza, internet and phone services were knocked out in a targeted hit on the technological infrastructure of the already devastated territory.
The Palestine Telecommunications Company – Paltel – reported that “all telecommunications and internet services have been disrupted”. That followed Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Galant telling a small group of foreign journalists that ground operations would be prolonged.
Palestinians in Gaza rely on the internet to communicate with one another and also report and bear witness to the atrocities and disseminate them to the world, especially because of the biased slant of Western media toward Israel.
Palestinian activists told reporters in the Arab media and beyond that Israel had also jammed the telecoms infrastructure that survived the bombing.
Traffic blackout on online maps
Live traffic information offered by Apple and Google on the US tech firms’ mapping apps stopped providing assessment of road traffic conditions on roads in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, at the request of Israeli armed forces.
But the applications will continue to provide users with directions to the areas they want to reach. The companies confirmed they did the same in Ukraine at the request of Kyiv authorities after Russia’s invasion began in February 2022.
The apps concerned – Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Waze – have sparked controversy in the Middle East before. This has included where they have drawn the boundaries for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They have left out the name Palestine altogether adopting Israeli definitions of borders and including names of settlements instead.