US cautions Israel against cutting Gaza internet, says Blinken to visit Israel, Jordan

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

This picture taken on November 1, 2023 from a position along the border shows smoke plumes in the Gaza Strip. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
This picture taken on November 1, 2023 from a position along the border shows smoke plumes in the Gaza Strip. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller cautions Israel against again cutting internet access for Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel cut communications into the Strip on Friday as it launched the first stage of its ground incursion, switching it back on the next day following pressure from Washington. Then this morning, phone and internet went down again for several hours.

Miller notes that the US government has been contacting its citizens via email about securing their exit from Gaza, so it expects that internet access remain available.

The State Department spokesperson says he recognizes Israel has to make certain operational decisions as it advances its military campaign. “But as a general principle, internet access needs to remain viable for people of Gaza.”

Miller also confirms that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel as well as Jordan this weekend.

At the top of Blinken’s agenda will be receiving an update on Israel’s military objectives in Gaza and how it plans to meet them, Miller says.

He will also speak with Israeli leaders about increasing the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, ensuring that there is a sustained continuous flow of aid each day, preventing the conflict from spreading and securing the release of the hostages back.

“Our expectation is that in conducting this military campaign that they do so in full compliance with international law,” Miller says.

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