Many areas in the Gaza Strip witnessed a complete communications blackout amid an “unprecedented” Israeli bombing on Friday evening, according to Palestinian media.
The Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa Channel reported that “the Israeli army is intensifying its air, sea, and land bombardment of all areas of Gaza in an unprecedented manner.”
It explained that “all telecommunications and internet services in Gaza are now shut down.”
The most recent Israeli airstrikes destroyed the last international cables connecting Gaza to the world, the channel added.
The largest telecommunications provider in Gaza that was still largely operational, Paltel, said Friday that it had suffered a complete disruption of all services after heavy Israeli bombing earlier in the day destroyed its last remaining infrastructure connecting it to the global internet.
“Dear people in our beloved homeland, we regret announcing a complete severance of all communications and Internet services with the Gaza Strip in light of the ongoing aggression,” Paltel said in a statement translated by NBC News. “The intense bombing in the last hour caused the destruction of all remaining international routes linking Gaza to the outside world, in addition to the routes previously destroyed during the aggression, which led to the interruption of all communications services from the beloved Gaza Strip. May God protect you and protect our country.”
Read more: World is failing Gaza – UN
Isik Mater, the director of research at NetBlocks, a U.K. company that tracks global internet connectivity, said the bombing created the biggest internet blackout since the conflict began.
“Today’s incident is the largest single disruption to internet connectivity in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict and will be perceived by many as a total or near-total internet blackout,” Mater said. “The loss of international routes is likely to severely limit residents’ ability to communicate with the outside world.”