PA claims phone, internet in Gaza will grind to halt on Thursday due to lack of fuel

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Ishaq Sidr, the Palestinian Authority’s minister of telecommunications and information technology, claims that telephone and internet services in the Gaza Strip will come to a complete halt on Thursday due to a lack of fuel, and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

PA and Hamas officials have launched repeated warnings over the past weeks that the Strip is days away from running out of fuel, which is critical for hospitals, transport, food production, water treatment and other vital operations. However, such warnings have been sounded since the very first days of the war and have turned out to be exaggerated since fuel is yet to run out.

Additionally, Israel has provided evidence that Hamas is storing large fuel reserves for its own terror activities, and that it has diverted fuel from hospitals to its own infrastructure.

Consequently, Israel has repeatedly refused to allow the delivery of fuel into Gaza.

Internet and phone networks have been down on at least several occasions in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war. An interruption took place on October 27-29, as Israel launched a widened ground offensive. The latest communication blackout was on November 1, lasting for several hours.

At today’s press conference in Ramallah, Sidr says that technical crews in Gaza have made tremendous efforts to keep internet and phone service going despite the ongoing military operation, and claims that alleged Israeli efforts at paralyzing the communications network in Gaza amount to a violation of international law and are “aimed at concealing Israeli crimes.”

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