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Gaza phone, Internet lines go dead as IDF expands ground operations

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have initiated a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, leading to an escalation of the ongoing conflict. The operation is marked by intense exchanges of fire and the deployment of IDF ground forces, including tanks, within the Gaza enclave

Gaza phone and Internet lines go dead as IDF expands ground operations
First Published Oct 28, 2023, 1:10 AM IST

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have launched a significant ground operation in the Gaza Strip, escalating the ongoing conflict in the region. This military maneuver is a response to the intensifying exchange of fire between IDF soldiers and gunmen in Gaza. Reports indicate that IDF ground forces, including tanks, have moved into the Gaza enclave to execute their mission.

As a consequence of Israel's actions, Gaza has plunged into a complete blackout, with telecommunications and internet services disrupted. This blackout serves as a testament to the severity of the conflict and its far-reaching implications, as communication is vital for both civilians and combatants on the ground. Simultaneously, Israel has intensified its airstrikes on Gaza, announcing an expansion of its ground offensive in the region.

IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari had earlier informed on social media platform X, "In recent hours we have increased the attacks in Gaza. The Air Force widely attacks underground targets and terrorist infrastructure, very significantly. In continuation of the offensive activity we carried out in the last few days, the ground forces are expanding the ground activity this evening. The IDF works powerfully in all dimensions in order to achieve the goals of the war."

Communication Blackout

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has issued a concerning statement, revealing that they are currently unable to establish contact with their teams operating in Gaza. The root cause of this communication blackout is attributed to the Israeli authorities, who have deliberately severed all forms of communication, including landline, cellular, and internet connections.

This loss of contact with their operations room in the Gaza Strip and their on-ground teams poses a significant and distressing challenge. Of particular concern is the potential disruption of their vital emergency medical services. The central emergency number "101," which serves as a lifeline for those in need of urgent medical attention, has been adversely affected. Furthermore, the ability of ambulance vehicles to promptly reach and assist the wounded and injured is hampered by this disconnection.

The decision to engage in this ground operation was made as Israeli leaders contemplated a potential invasion of Gaza. Diplomatic efforts were also underway to negotiate the release of hostages held by Hamas, underscoring the complex and multifaceted nature of the situation.

It's essential to note that Israeli forces have undertaken ground raids into Gaza over the past two nights, displaying a gradual escalation of military activities. In one instance, a small raid was supported by fighter jets and drones, resulting in no Israeli casualties. These raids aimed to target rocket launch positions and engage in confrontations with militants, all with the goal of uncovering the enemy and destroying launch pads and explosives to set the stage for future stages of the conflict.

The conflict between Israel and Gaza has been ongoing for nearly three weeks, initially sparked by the October 7 Hamas attack followed by a wave of rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip. These attacks prompted Israel to respond with a series of airstrikes, leading to the current situation.

UN Chief Appeals for Air Movement

In the midst of this escalating conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has reiterated the urgent need to provide essential humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in Gaza. He emphasized the catastrophic consequences of a humanitarian system on the verge of collapse, affecting over 2 million civilians in the region. Food, water, medicine, and fuel must be swiftly and safely delivered to meet the growing and critical needs of the affected population. This plea underscores the urgency and gravity of the humanitarian situation resulting from the ongoing conflict.

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