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ALM Feature

eSIMs offer connectivity lifeline for Gaza medics, journalists and residents

Emergency workers in Gaza have struggled through communications blackouts, but Egyptian activists have provided temporary connectivity for some in need with thousands of eSIMs.
lestinian Red Crescent volunteers and UN staff prepare to assist a Palestinian man reportedly shot by Israeli forces, Zeitoun district, outskirts of Gaza City, Nov. 25, 2023.

CAIRO —The Israel-Hamas war that erupted Oct. 7 has wreaked major havoc on Gaza's infrastructure, including its communications networks, resulting in ongoing waves of blackouts of various lengths that not only further isolate the besieged residents but also hinder the work of medical personnel, aid workers and journalists covering the conflict.

The Palestinians in Gaza were hit with the first full communications blackout on Oct. 27.

“Gaza has experienced multiple instances of complete communications blackouts [since October],” Nebal Farsakh, a Ramallah-based spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), told Al-Monitor. “As of now, there has been a total of 10 such blackouts. In the earlier occurrences, the blackouts lasted for a few days or at most, a week. 

“However, the 10th blackout [beginning in mid-January] is the longest one on record, and it continues in certain areas, such as Khan Younis. This prolonged blackout has resulted in a loss of all communication with [our] teams stationed in those areas. It has been ongoing for 26 days now.” 

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