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Gaza Siege: Complete Blackout

Since October 27th, Gaza has had no access to the internet or telephone services amidst intense bombings. Israel has cut off Gaza’s connection as they prepare for a ground invasion. The UN continues to prepare for a major humanitarian crisis in the area, following over three weeks of blocks on food, water, electricity, and fuel. 

Multiple news outlets and humanitarian organizations have reported having lost complete contact with their control rooms and correspondents. Journalists on the ground cannot communicate with their respective newsrooms. They cannot use social media to update the public on the current situation in Gaza.

The Palestinian Red Crescent, a humanitarian organization that provides emergency medical services. Shared on X that they “have completely lost contact with the operations room in Gaza Strip and all our teams operating there due to the Israeli authorities cutting off all landline, cellular and internet communications.” The blackout means that civilians cannot call for ambulances and reporters cannot report from the ground.

That is also the case for major health and human rights organizations such as the WHO, Unicef, ICRC, Doctors Without Borders, and Amnesty International. The blackout has raised international concern over the violations of human rights. Which might take place and go completely undocumented and unreported.

In a statement shared on October 27th, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Senior Director of Research, Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns at Amnesty International. Said that they “have found it increasingly challenging to document violations due to the intensity of Israel’s attacks and restrictions on communications. This communications blackout means that it will be even more difficult to obtain critical information and evidence about human rights violations and war crimes being committed against Palestinian civilians in Gaza”

As the bombing over Gaza intensifies, and the blackout continues, many call for a ceasefire. The UN has adopted a “humanitarian truce” for civilian protection. Which means a temporary cessation of hostilities in a conflict area, facilitated by the UN, to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid, medical assistance, and the evacuation of civilians. 

The UN adopted this truce after a voting session on October 27th, during which 120 members favored the resolution. Fourteen members voted against the truce, including the United States, Austria, and Israel. Forty-five members abstained from voting. It is speculated that the US voted against the draft due to its strong alliance with Israel and the economic and historical ties between the two countries.With no connection to the rest of the world and no access to essential resources, Gaza is now facing a significant crisis. Over 7,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the Hamas-Isreal conflict on October 7th, roughly 3,000 of those being children. Israel has used 12,000 tons of explosives against Gaza, and the media office in the Gaza enclave has shared that “the explosive force of these explosives is equivalent to the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in Japan.

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