“Statistics” and “Communications”: The occupation has cut off communications from Gaza more than 10 times since the war

Ramallah – Together – The Central Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy reported that the Israeli occupation has cut off communications from the Gaza Strip more than 10 times since the start of the aggression on October 7 last year.

A statement issued by the “Statistics” and “Telecommunications”, today, Thursday, on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which falls tomorrow, Friday, explained that the communications sector was subjected to direct and systematic targeting, in which the occupation deliberately cut off communications and Internet services repeatedly and escalating, which coincided with Mostly with an escalation in crimes.

He pointed out that cutting off communications exacerbated the suffering, complicated rescue efforts, isolated the population, limited their ability to communicate and request help and assistance, and also hindered the work of journalists and correspondents in the field, noting that these measures are consid
ered a violation of the basic laws and rights stipulated in international norms and a means of concealing war crimes.

According to the report of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor issued on February 13, 2024, it documented the occupation’s deliberate targeting of citizens, including journalists, as they attempted to capture mobile communications broadcasts and the Internet and use electronic chips, in order to communicate with their families, relatives, or employers, through direct sniping or drones in various parts of the world. Gaza strip.

Destruction of the infrastructure of the communications, information technology and postal sectors

Before the aggression, the Gaza Strip witnessed remarkable growth in the level of communications as a whole, as the number of mobile phone subscriptions on the eve of the Israeli aggression reached 1,041,198 subscriptions, based on data from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. The percentage of families in the Strip that had access to the Internet
reached 93% on the eve of the Israeli aggression, according to the agency’s data, but The infrastructure supplying telecommunications companies in the Gaza Strip was subjected to deliberate and direct targeting by the occupation, as five main companies operate in the Gaza Strip, namely (Palestinian Telecommunications Company Paltel, Cellular Telecommunications Company Jawwal, Ooredoo Company, Mada Al-Arab Company, and Fusion Net Company). The targeting affected the main and subsidiary divisions, disrupting and destroying the relay towers and fiber optic networks, in addition to the main transmission paths and lines that connect the Gaza Strip with each other and with the outside world. The running out of fuel needed to operate the generators and the power outage are additional reasons for the interruption of communication with the Gaza Strip.

Communications data indicated that before the aggression, there were 841 towers belonging to cellular telecommunications companies, and until mid-April of the year 2024
, 75% of these towers were out of service, and the value of infrastructure losses in the communications, information technology, and postal sectors during the first six months of the aggression reached To about $223 million.

A 91% decline in the added value of information and communications activity in the first 3 months of the aggression

The estimates of the quarterly national accounts for the fourth quarter of the year 2023, i.e. the first three months of the Israeli aggression, issued by the agency indicated that the information and communications activity in all of Palestine was affected, as the value added at constant prices reached $106 million in the fourth quarter of the year 2023 compared to $132 million in the quarter. The third for the same year, a decrease of about 20%, and at the level of the West Bank, the added value in the fourth quarter amounted to 105 million dollars, compared to 128 million dollars in the third quarter of the year 2023, a decline of about 18%. As for the Gaza Strip, the a
dded value of information and communications activity reached The fourth quarter was $400,000 compared to $4.4 million in the third quarter of 2023, a decline of 91%.

Source: Maan News Agency