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Following a blackout, internet access has partially returned to Gaza - Slashdot


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    An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: After a weekend of almost complete internet blackout, connectivity in Gaza has been partially restored. On Friday, internet monitoring firms and experts reported that access to the internet had significantly degraded in the Palestinian enclave. The local internet service NetStream "collapsed," according to NetBlocks, a firm that tracks internet access across the world. At the same time, IODA, another internet monitoring system, showed outages and degradation across several Palestinian internet providers. The lack of internet communications caused emergency lines to stop ringing, made it hard for paramedics to locate the wounded, and for family members to reach relatives and friends, according to The New York Times.

    On Sunday, IODA reported "marginal restoration" of internet connectivity in Gaza. Abdulmajeed Melhem, chief executive of the Palestinian main telecommunications company Paltel Group, told The Times that the internet had come back even though the company had not made any repairs. Then on Monday, Gaza had roughly the same access to internet connectivity as before Friday, according to several experts and firms that are monitoring the internet in the region, including Doug Madory, an expert who for years has focused on monitoring networks across the world. "There was the 34 hour complete blackout from Friday to Sunday -- a first for Gaza. Then there was last night's partial outage in northern Gaza," Madory, who is the director of internet analysis at Kentik, told TechCrunch on Monday. "The situation is still very precious: no power, little water. Service could potentially drop out again at any time." [...]

    It's unclear what caused the internet outages in Gaza on Friday and what caused the improvements on Sunday and Monday. The Washington Post reported on Sunday that the U.S. government put pressure on the Israeli government to switch the internet back on in Gaza, citing an unnamed U.S. official. "We made it clear they had to be turned back on," the official said. "The communications are back on. They need to stay on," The Post quoted the official as saying. Also on Sunday, The Times reported that the U.S. government believed that the Israeli government was responsible for the near-blackout of the internet in Gaza.


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