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'Total blindness': Gaza paramedics recount horror during Israel's blackout

Gazans recount the 34 hours of internet and communications blackout during intense Israeli bombardment cutting off the enclave from the rest of the world.
Palestinians search for survivors in the rubble of a building in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip on October 31, 2023, amid relentless Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian enclave. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP) (P

GAZA CITY — Every person in Gaza goes to bed each night not knowing whether they will wake up or die in their sleep amid Israel's intensifying air bombardment that has left over 8,000 people dead. Hopelessness and fatalism are now a way of life, with no safe place in the enclave and no one knowing when or where the bombs will drop.

Since Hamas’ surprise attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7 that killed over 1,400 people — mostly civilians — the Israeli army has unleashed a massive air and ground campaign against the Gaza Strip and imposed a complete blockade on the enclave. With the border to Egypt closed, the 2.3 million Gazans are trapped under aerial bombardment and the humanitarian situation has reached catastrophic levels amid shortages of food, water and fuel.

Israeli air and ground forces stepped up operations in Gaza over the weekend, with intense airstrikes that cut telecommunication, phone and internet services, leaving the enclosed territory in a total blackout for nearly 34 hours.

'We were like blind people'

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