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Communications Blackout in Gaza as Fuel Runs Out

Telecommunications in the Gaza Strip went down on Thursday as the area ran out of fuel for backup generators, mobile communications operators and Internet service providers said.

“We regret to announce that all telecom services in Gaza Strip have gone out of service as all energy sources sustaining the network have been depleted, and fuel was not allowed in,” the Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel Group), the largest provider of telecom services in Palestine, said in a statement.

The company warned earlier this week that its main data centers in the Gaza Strip were shutting down because they were running out of fuel. The main elements of the communications networks now depend solely on batteries, it added. 

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch warned that the blackout was imminent due to fuel shortages.   

"The Israeli government should allow fuel to reach Gaza to avoid plunging its population further into isolation and end its collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population,” said Deborah Brown, senior technology researcher at Human Rights Watch.

While the Hamas-Israel war continues, the United States is set to toughen the sanctions enforcement on Iranian oil exports.

The United States will tighten sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, aiming to bring exports down by more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd), White House energy security adviser Amos Hochstein told Bloomberg this week.

“We are going to enforce those sanctions,” Hochstein said. “Those numbers will come down.”

“I think the best anecdote to revenues in Iran is keeping their exports at a lower level, but also to make sure prices are lower,” he said.

Talk about tighter sanctions against Iran’s oil industry intensified in the wake of the latest war in the Middle East with hawks in Congress blaming Iran for helping plan the Hamas attacks and advising pre-emptive action against Tehran before it became more involved in the conflict.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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