Hamas bans Israeli communication services in Gaza Strip
search

Hamas bans Israeli communication services in Gaza Strip

Islamist government warns citizens about pornography, espionage, and unfair competition

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Palestinian youth in an Internet cafe in Gaza, March 2007 (photo credit: Ahmad Khatib/Flash90)
Palestinian youth in an Internet cafe in Gaza, March 2007 (photo credit: Ahmad Khatib/Flash90)

The Hamas government on Tuesday ordered all communication companies in the Gaza Strip to stop working with Israeli companies, citing moral, economic, and security concerns.

Hamas’s Communications Ministry announced that local companies must refrain from cooperating with Israeli Internet providers and mobile phone companies “in a bid to protect our society from the dangers of pornographic websites online and on mobile phones.”

The ministry also claimed it wanted to protect local companies from “unfair competition” presented by Israeli service providers.

Kamal Masri, the ministry’s director of licensing, explained that many citizens have complained of Israeli companies trying to advertise their services through local mobile phone shops “both officially and unofficially.”

Masri added that such services could be pernicious to Palestinians “in the current security situation.”

In September, Hamas instituted a ban on pornographic websites by ordering them to be blocked by local Internet providers.

“Benefiting from foreign Internet sources must be done through well-known Palestinian companies that respect the laws and the customs of the Palestinian people,” Masri said.

read more:
comments