Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home News Communication Blackout in Gaza leaves citizens in the dark

Communication Blackout in Gaza leaves citizens in the dark

Online Comment Editor, Charlie Oldroyd, writes on the communication blackout in Gaza during the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.
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Image: Palestinian News & Information Agency (Wafa) in contract with APAimages, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Middle East is up in arms with conflicts between Israel and Palestine reaching new heights. Israeli troops plan to invade Gaza City within the next two days, with air raids and bombing continuing. The communication blackouts have divided many families, leaving people worried about their loved ones’ fates.

The raging war between Israel and Hamas leaves Palestine in a humanitarian crisis, leaving Gaza desperate for aid, whilst disconnected from the world.

The Israel-Palestine conflict first originated in 1947 due to the division of land between Jewish and Arabic states as a response to the devastation of Israeli land and Jewish people during the Holocaust. In 1948, Israel declared independence and was granted considerably larger land borders than the original partition. Arabic Palestinian nationals were forcibly removed from their homes and kept in an anti-humanitarian state under a military government.

The Islamist militant group Hamas originated in 1987, occupying the Gaza Strip and governing more than two million Palestinian nationals. The group was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. On October 7th, 2023, the militant group launched an attack on Israel from Gaza killing over 1400 people and kidnapping hostages. Israel has since surrounded Gaza City, launching counter-attacks and teetering on the precipice of invasion.

In the third communications outage within a month, occupants of Gaza live in a state of fear and confusion, unable to contact friends and family. However, a larger problem has arrived of propaganda and misinformation. Social media entities such as Meta, compromising Facebook and Instagram, have removed Hamas’s official social media from platforms. The social media propaganda and AI-fuelled misinformation have created further tension between Israel and Palestine. The power plays between countries leave a silent third party — Hamas govern the state but does not necessarily represent Gaza’s occupants. As a result, Palestine nationals are left powerless, fearful to flee due to air strike threats, whilst being out of touch with the world.

In the third communications outage within a month, occupants of Gaza live in a state of fear and confusion, unable to contact friends and family

However, some of the disconnected citizens are feeling a false sense of peace due to the communications blackout. This could lead to the unjust loss of lives as people attempt to flee the country, unaware of up-to-date information about the growing conflict. It could also lead to less considered mental anguish and isolation as Gaza’s people are forced to fight, flee, or perish on their own.

Furthermore, ambulances and humanitarian relief cannot locate people in need due to the communications blackout. This will inevitably lead to a rise of dying and injured citizens whilst a halt in journalism leaves Gaza eerily in the dark in a time of crisis.

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