In Gaza, a man in Gaza used facial and hand gestures during press conference to reassure his relatives outside after the cell tower bombing disrupted telecommunications, the only means of communication for many.
Israel’s army intensified its attacks in Gaza following a night of heavy shelling, marking three weeks of conflict since the initial attack. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Israel to halt the attacks, while the families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas demanded government information about their loved ones amidst the ongoing strikes.
According to the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, the war has claimed the lives of at least 7,703 people, including more than 3,500 children. This conflict marks the highest number of casualties in Gaza since Israel’s withdrawal from the territory in 2005.
Hamas accused Israel of cutting off internet and communications throughout Gaza, which they claimed was intended to facilitate retaliatory strikes. Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the blackout could hide “mass atrocities.” The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that the communications outage disrupted ambulance services, and the UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories emphasized the importance of communications for hospitals and humanitarian operations.
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.