Via the electronic chip How did the Gazans deal with the horror of the Internet outage?

Via the electronic chip How did the Gazans deal with the horror of the Internet outage?

Israel's cut off of communications led to the isolation of more than two million people in the Gaza Strip, without any contact with each other or with the outside world, which prompted many to use the digital chip by activating the international roaming service through an external intermediary.

Israel's cut off of communications led to the isolation of more than two million people in the Gaza Strip, without any contact with each other and with the outside world.

Residents of the besieged Strip were surprised, on Friday, October 27, that their mobile phones were not equipped with the Internet.

While some thought the problem was temporary and short-lived, it soon became clear that there was a complete communications blackout across the Strip, with no phones and no internet, while Israeli bombs rained down in the dark of the night.

Among those was journalist Hind Al-Khudari, who told Anadolu about the moments of fear and terror like millions of other Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as they were completely isolated from their loved ones and from the world.

Al-Khudary said: “I felt terrified because I did not know anything about my family. I could only hear continuous explosions.”

Al-Khudari, an active user of the X and Instagram platforms with thousands of followers, had no way to tell the world what millions of Gazans were going through, something she did professionally every day.

However, technology provided a way out, as Al-Khodari received an eSIM card from her friend, the Egyptian writer and activist Mirna El-Helbawy.

The eSIM card gives users the option to activate a mobile network's cellular data plan, without the need for a physical SIM card.

Internet services in Gaza were restored after approximately 48 hours, but remain erratic and unreliable.

The "eSIM" chip offers the same advantages as the traditional SIM card and is affiliated with a telecommunications company from the country of issue. However, it is a digital SIM card, consisting of a code that is entered into the smartphone settings.

When using the digital SIM card in the Gaza Strip, it is used by activating the international roaming service on any network that appears on the mobile phone, whether it is a Palestinian, Israeli, or Egyptian network.

Al-Khudari said that communications kept on and off, which is why she was relying on her eSIM. “eSIMs have proven to be very important in connecting Palestinians to the world,” she said.

“Hamas is planning to destroy Israel and liberate Palestine.” A secret document expected Hamas to launch an attack on the settlements surrounding Gaza and move the battle into Israel. Netanyahu received it with sarcasm from his Defense Minister 7 years ago. 

Myrna and her sister Yara Al-Helbawy were among activists around the world, who were looking for ways to help restore communications for Palestinians in Gaza.

Like many others, they were also initially pushing for billionaire Elon Musk to provide Starlink internet services in Gaza.

When those calls went unheeded and time passed, they began looking for other options. Then the Helabawi sisters thought about roaming services.

They started with two eSIM cards purchased in Europe and sent to two people they knew in Gaza.

“Once we were sure it was working, we started calling (to check) if more people wanted to connect people via eSIM,” Yara said.

In just 24 to 48 hours, the sisters received more than 2,000 eSIMs as donations, and have so far been able to provide more than 1,000 eSIMs to the residents of Gaza.

The priority was for journalists and medical staff, but now they are distributing it to everyone.

“This is an initiative by the people. We went from people to people and they kind of restored our faith in humanity,” Yara said.

“Finding solutions” for the people of Gaza

Bashar Shaheen, a Jordanian who works as a marketing manager and lives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, is running a similar campaign to provide eSIM cards to Palestinians.

He said: “I started with one man in the Gaza Strip... I was sending him eSIM cards and he was distributing them to his colleagues and journalists,” and he told Anadolu in a video interview: “The circle has become larger.”

Shaheen explained that they received thousands of eSIMs as donations, and are now working with four people to handle the distribution process.

“The main problem is that most eSIMs only work on specialized or newer devices like the iPhone X and 11 or new Android phones,” he said.

He added that they were initially receiving eSIMs with “weekly packages”, but now people are sending more with monthly packages, “so each person gets 30 GB valid for one month.”

Shaheen pointed out that people who received eSIMs “now know that they have a choice” even if the Internet is cut off.

He added: "Now they (the Palestinians) know that they have people outside Gaza who will do anything to help them We will put options before our brothers in Gaza and we will provide them with solutions to solve these problems."

Palestinian Journalists Syndicate: Israel has killed 38 journalists since October 7

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said that the death toll among those working in the field of journalism and media reached 38 martyrs, as the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip continued.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate announced on Tuesday evening that the number of martyred journalists as a result of the war launched by Israel on Gaza since October 7 has risen to 38.

The union said in a statement on the Facebook platform, “Since October 7, 2023, 25 Palestinian journalists and 13 media sector workers have been martyred as a result of the occupation army’s bombing.”

She added: "In addition to the bombing of the homes of at least 35 journalists and the martyrdom of dozens of their family members, including the deliberate targeting of the family of journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh, Al Jazeera correspondent, which resulted in the killing of his wife, two of his sons, and his youngest grandson."

She added: "These heinous acts are an extension of a systematic policy to target and kill Palestinian journalists. The Israeli army killed 55 Palestinian journalists from 2000 until October 7, 2023, including the martyr, journalist Sherine Abu Aqla, in May 2022."

She continued: "The occupation has cut off all means of communication with the Gaza Strip, including communication, the Internet, telephone and mobile communications. Communication is still limited and subject to disruption and interference, which allows Israel to carry out its massacres in the dark, away from the lenses of the international media."

Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate Statement: Some of the Global Media's Unethical Coverage is Facilitating Genocide in

Posted by ‎ Palestinian Journalists Syndicate - PJS - Palestinian Journalists Syndicate ‎ on  Tuesday, October 31, 2023

130 martyrs since October 7, A strike in the West Bank and the occupation kills 4 and arrests 70 Palestinians

The number of martyrs in the West Bank has risen to 130 people since October 7, after 4 Palestinians were killed by Israeli army gunfire in the cities of Jenin and Tulkarm. While the occupation launched a campaign of raids and arrests amid massive demonstrations denouncing the aggression against Gaza.

Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli army gunfire in the cities of Jenin and Tulkarm in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, bringing the total number of martyrs since October 7 to 130 people.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported in a statement that “four martyrs were killed by Israeli occupation bullets, including 3 in Jenin and the fourth in Tulkarm, an elderly person with special needs.”

Medical sources at the Martyr Thabet Thabet Governmental Hospital told the Palestinian News Agency (Wafa) that the citizen Magdi Zakaria Youssef Awad (65 years old) was killed as a result of being shot in the head by an Israeli bullet, noting that he was disabled.

Violent confrontations broke out in several areas in the city and the vicinity of the Tulkarm camp, during which the occupation forces fired heavy bullets at citizens and their homes, which led to citizen Awwad being critically injured by bullets, after which he was transferred to the hospital, where doctors announced his death.

The forces assaulted the freed prisoner, Kassab Zaqout, before arresting him in the eastern neighborhood. Eyewitnesses reported that a special force stormed the town of Pharaoh and arrested the freed prisoner, Malik Obaid.

Local sources reported that Israeli army forces launched a raid campaign that targeted several homes in the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and arrested four people.

The forces also arrested at least three people when they stormed several areas in Bethlehem, including the Abayat area, Wadi Shaheen, and Wadi Maali, according to local sources.

Security sources reported to Lofa that the drones bombed with two missiles the Jourat al-Dhahab area inside the Jenin camp, wounding 3 citizens. Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance crews transported them to the hospital, where their injuries were described as serious. Later, Ibn Sina Hospital announced "the death of two young men who succumbed to their serious wounds."

WAFA reported that there was a power outage in the camp, the Jabriyat neighborhood, and large neighborhoods in the city, after the occupation destroyed electricity transformers, and communications and the Internet witnessed interference.

Bulldozers also removed barriers at the entrance to Jenin camp in preparation for storming it, and the forces turned a residential building adjacent to the camp into a military point.

In the city of Jenin, Wafa reported, “The occupation forces, accompanied by bulldozers, stormed the city from several axes, from the streets of Jenin-Nazareth, Jenin-Nablus, and Haifa Street, and reached the vicinity of the Jenin camp, which led to the outbreak of confrontations.”

The forces fired bullets, stun grenades, and toxic tear gas towards citizens and their homes, which resulted in a young man being injured by bullets in the vicinity of the cinema roundabout, and he was taken to the hospital.

Medical sources reported to Lofa that "the occupation forces targeted Jenin Governmental Hospital with a barrage of toxic tear gas bombs, which led to the suffocation of many patients, doctors and hospital workers."

The agency indicated that "the occupation forces deployed their snipers on the roofs of houses and buildings in the city and on the outskirts of the camp, especially Mahyoub Street, Al-Jabriyat neighborhood, Al-Abraj area, Al-Hadaf neighborhood, Khallet Al-Souha, and Talat Al-Ghabz, and imposed a siege on the camp, amid intense flight of Apache helicopters and drones in the sky of the city."

The forces raided several homes and severely beat a citizen, after raiding his home in Jenin. The bulldozers began to destroy the Interior Ministry's roundabout in front of the Institutions Complex, demolishing walls, bulldozing several streets, and destroying citizens' cars in the city and around the camp, amid the sound of violent explosions.

On Tuesday evening, special units of the Israeli army stormed the Jabriyat neighborhood in the city, and raided the house of the secretary of the Fatah movement in the Jenin Governorate, Ata Abu Rumaila, before arresting him and his son Ahmed, after they were severely beaten.

For its part, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club said that Israel arrested at least 70 Palestinians in the West Bank at dawn on Wednesday, bringing the total number of detainees to 1,830 since last October 7.

In a related context, dozens of marches were launched in cities, villages and camps in the West Bank, heading towards the contact points, and clashes broke out, rejecting the occupation’s crimes and massacres against Gaza, and affirming the unity of Palestinian blood and fate in the West Bank, Jerusalem, the occupied interior and Gaza.

The massive marches condemned the Jabalia massacre and the continued aggression against the Gaza Strip, and called for a comprehensive strike from this moment on throughout the occupied West Bank.

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