Internet services gradually returning to Gaza: Telecom firm

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Internet services are starting to return to the besieged Gaza Strip, telecom operator Paltel said Friday, after the longest outage since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7.

Gaza’s internet and telecommunication services have been constantly disrupted throughout the war, with Paltel blaming Israel’s bombardment of the Palestinian territory for the outages.

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In the most recent interruption, Gaza residents have been largely without internet and telephone services for a full week, according to internet monitor NetBlocks.

“We announce the gradual return of communication services in various areas of the Gaza Strip,” Paltel said in a statement.

The restarting of internet services was later confirmed by the territory’s telecommunications ministry.

The United Nations has warned that the blackouts are worsening the Palestinian territory’s already dire humanitarian situation.

“The blackout of telecommunications prevents people in Gaza from accessing lifesaving information or calling for first responders and impedes other forms of humanitarian response,” the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said on Thursday.

Fighting has ravaged Gaza since Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attacks on Israel that resulted in the death of about 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Hamas and other militants seized about 250 hostages and around 132 remain in Gaza, including at least 27 believed to have been killed.

At least 24,762 Palestinians, about 70 percent of them women and children, have been killed in Israeli bombardments and ground assaults, according to the Gaza health ministry’s latest figures.

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