Restore Telecoms and Internet Connectivity in Gaza Now!

Joint statement: Restore telecoms and internet connectivity in Gaza now!

Read in Arabic / للقراءة بالعربية

The MENA Alliance for Digital Rights and other civil society organizations condemn, in the strongest terms, Israel’s targeting of the means of communication and access to information in Gaza. We are deeply alarmed by Israel’s cutting-off of civilian telecommunication infrastructure, internet, electricity, mainstream media, journalists, and human rights defenders. 

Israel is currently holding 2.3 million Palestinians captive in Gaza, amid a near-total internet and power blackout. In less than two weeks, Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 3,500 civilians, injured more than 12,000, and displaced over one million people. For the past 16 years, Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza, depriving people of their fundamental rights. Over the past 12 days, this blockade has been weaponized to deny Palestinians access to food, water, medical aid, electricity, and the internet. Denying people humanitarian aid during a siege is a war crime

Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel has maintained control of the occupied Palestinian territory’s telecommunications infrastructure, denying Palestinians their right to access safe, affordable, and quality internet, including limiting access to 2G mobile data technologies in Gaza and 3G in the West Bank. During its military offensives on Gaza in 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2021, the Israeli occupation repeatedly bombed vital internet infrastructure, causing complete internet blackouts. 

During the recent escalation, Israel has targeted civil telecommunications infrastructure to limit Palestinians and international media from broadcasting its atrocities and crimes against humanity happening on the ground. Internet outages and disruptions have been documented in Gaza since the start of Israeli bombing, as reported  by the Internet Outage Detection and Analysis and by the #KeepitOn coalition. Israel has dropped more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza, targeting power and internet infrastructure, using white phosphorus against civilians, and blocking the entry of vital aid such as food and medical supplies. Without electricity, the internet, or basic Information and communication technology (ICT) services, people in Gaza cannot access life-saving information about which areas are under attack or where they can find medical supplies and aid, nor can they connect with families and loved ones. They are cut off from the world. 

In a war context, access to the internet is a fundamental enabler not only of personal and communal safety, but also of ensuring that human rights violations and war crimes are recorded and reported. Freedom of expression related to Palestine is currently in crisis, from tech platforms’ policies and practices censoring related content, to targeted attacks on and killings of journalists. The internet must be kept on to prevent this crisis of expression being exacerbated further. In Gaza, access to the internet, communications, and information can be the difference between life and death, just as much as vital necessities of food, fuel and water. Reporters, journalists, human rights defenders, and news agencies have been relentlessly targeted, leaving civilians to document the war via social media. 

The MENA Alliance for Digital Rights and undersigned organizations strongly condemn the destruction of telecommunications infrastructure in Gaza, which prevents Palestinians from accessing life-saving information. We demand an immediate ceasefire and the immediate restoration of internet connectivity in Gaza, and we call for an end to the targeting of civilian telecommunications infrastructure. 

We call on the international community to take all necessary steps to support the immediate restoration of telecommunications and other essential services in Gaza and any other affected areas, and to ensure that international and humanitarian law are respected.


  • 7amleh
  • Access Now
  • Advocacy Initiative for Development (AID)
  • Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation
  • AfricTivistes
  • ALTSEAN-Burma
  • ASEAN Regional Coalition to #StopDigitalDictatorship
  • Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  • Association for Progressive Communications
  • Aurat March Lahore
  • Azerbaijan Internet Watch (AIW)
  • Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication
  • Body & Data, Nepal
  • Bolo Bhi
  • Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD)
  • Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP-Liberia)
  • CODAYati
  • Coding Rights
  • Computer Professionals’ Union (Philippines)
  • Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations (CEHRO)
  • Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
  • Derechos Digitales
  • Digital Rights Foundation (DRF)
  • Digital Rights Kashmir
  • Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative (DRLI)
  • Digital Rights Watch
  • Fantsuam Foundation, Nigeria
  • Fight for the Future
  • Foundation for Media Alternatives
  • Freedom Forum, Nepal
  • Fundación Acceso, Costa Rica.
  • Global Digital Inclusion Partnership (GDIP)
  • GreenNet
  • Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)
  • Hiperderecho
  • Human Rights Journalists Network Nigeria
  • Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Indonesia
  • Humanis Foundation Southeast Asia (affiliated with Hivos)
  • IFEX
  • INSM Foundation for Digital Rights
  • Instituto Minas Programam (Brazil)
  • Instituto Nupef
  • International Press Centre (IPC)
  • Internet Sans Frontières
  • Intervozes – Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social
  • JCA-NET(Japan)
  • Jordan Open Source Association (JOSA)
  • Kandoo
  • Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet)
  • Kigali Human Rights Attorneys and Legal consultants
  • ​​Kijiji Yeetu
  • Kurdish organizations Network coalition for the International Criminal court (KONCICC)
  • Kurdistan without Genocide
  • Tecnologías Comunitarias – Ecuador
  • Lebanese Center for Human Rights
  • Liberty and Peace NOW! Human Rights Reporters
  • (Bahrain)
  • Manushya Foundation (Thailand, Laos)
  • May First Movement Technology
  • Media Diversity Institute – Armenia
  • Meedan
  • MENA Rights Group (MRG)
  • Miaan Group
  • Myanmar Internet Project
  • Next Billion Network
  • Numun Fund
  • Office of civil freedoms
  • Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)
  • Organization of the Justice Campaign
  • OXCON Consulting (United Kingdom)
  • Paradigm Initiative (PIN) Kashmir
  • PAX Memoria
  • PERIN+1S
  • PurpleCode Collective
  • RRR Collective
  • Sawn for Digital Rights
  • Securing Organizations with Automated Policymaking (SOAP)
  • SMEX
  • SocialTIC
  • Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet)
  • The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Gambia (TANGO)
  • The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
  • The Engine Room
  • The Tor Project
  • Ubunteam
  • World Pulse
  • YLBHI (Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation)
  • Youth and Society (YAS)