Israel’s digital occupation of Palestine

ISRAEL’S DIGITAL OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE

Israel’s digital occupation of Palestine

Access Now stands with the people of Gaza who are currently living under a complete siege imposed by the Israeli military, indiscriminate airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, and cutting off of fuel, food, water, and medical supplies. We also stand in solidarity with everyone in Israel, Lebanon, broader Palestine, across the region, and around the world who are personally impacted by this conflict and whose communities have been targeted with violence.

Attacks on digital rights in times of conflict and crisis enable offline human rights abuses and exacerbate people’s suffering. The protection of free expression and access to information is a lifeline for people struggling to keep themselves and their communities out of harm’s way, and upholding the right to free association and peaceful assembly is vital for expression of solidarity as well as a pathway for demanding accountability from parties to the conflict. We call for an immediate ceasefire to prevent the worsening of the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe and further loss of innocent lives.

Civil society actions

Cover Image: It's not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices
Content Governance

It’s not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices

19 Feb 2024

This Access Now report documented cases of how Meta censors Palestinian voices on Facebook and Instagram.

Publication
It’s not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices
19 Feb 2024
It’s not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices
Telecoms and Internet Connectivity Gaza
Internet Shutdowns

A week in the dark: connectivity in Gaza must be restored now

18 Jan 2024

For a week, Gaza has been under a complete internet and telecom blackout, the longest since October. The international community must act to #KeepItOn.

Press Release
A week in the dark: connectivity in Gaza must be restored now
18 Jan 2024
A week in the dark: connectivity in Gaza must be restored now
Telecommunications blackout in the Gaza Strip is an attack on human rights
Internet Shutdowns

Depleting fuel and infrastructure damage: Gaza’s internet lifeline must be saved

15 Nov 2023

“With an impending internet blackout in Gaza, Access Now and Human Rights Watch received a response from Paltell Group emphasizing Israeli attacks on infrastructure as key blackout contributors and citing challenges in making repairs without a ceasefire.

Press Release
Depleting fuel and infrastructure damage: Gaza’s internet lifeline must be saved
15 Nov 2023
Depleting fuel and infrastructure damage: Gaza’s internet lifeline must be saved
Palestine Israel Digital Ceasefire; Gaza’s internet
Internet Shutdowns

Palestine unplugged: how Israel disrupts Gaza’s internet

10 Nov 2023

This report illustrates the state of Gaza’s internet throughout October 2023 by looking at internet traffic by ISPs and locations.

Publication
Palestine unplugged: how Israel disrupts Gaza’s internet
10 Nov 2023
Palestine unplugged: how Israel disrupts Gaza’s internet
Restore Telecoms and Internet Connectivity in Gaza Now!
Internet Shutdowns

Gaza’s last link is gone: civil society urges immediate reversal of total communications blackout now shrouding human rights harms

27 Oct 2023

Access Now and the MENA Alliance for Digital Rights call for immediate restoration of telecoms and internet connectivity in the Gaza Strip.

Press Release
Gaza’s last link is gone: civil society urges immediate reversal of total communications blackout now shrouding human rights harms
27 Oct 2023
Gaza’s last link is gone: civil society urges immediate reversal of total communications blackout now shrouding human rights harms
Palestine Israel Digital Ceasefire; Gaza’s internet
Protest and Online Organizing

Human rights organizations join the open call for an immediate physical and digital ceasefire in Gaza, and for Palestinians globally

20 Oct 2023

We call on international actors to support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, along with a “digital ceasefire” to protect Palestinians in online spaces globally.

Press Release
Human rights organizations join the open call for an immediate physical and digital ceasefire in Gaza, and for Palestinians globally
20 Oct 2023
Human rights organizations join the open call for an immediate physical and digital ceasefire in Gaza, and for Palestinians globally
Telecoms and Internet Connectivity Gaza
Freedom of Expression

Precise interpretation of the DSA matters especially when people’s lives are at risk in Gaza and Israel

18 Oct 2023

The Digital Service Act (DSA) must not be exploited in times of conflict or crisis. The E.U. must respect due process when enforcing the DSA during ongoing armed conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Press Release
Precise interpretation of the DSA matters especially when people’s lives are at risk in Gaza and Israel
18 Oct 2023
Precise interpretation of the DSA matters especially when people’s lives are at risk in Gaza and Israel
Restore Telecoms and Internet Connectivity in Gaza Now!
Internet Shutdowns

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

20 Oct 2023

The MENA Alliance for Digital Rights and other CSOs condemn Israel’s targeting of the means of communication in Gaza.

Press Release
Joint statement: Restore telecoms and internet connectivity in Gaza now!
20 Oct 2023
Joint statement: Restore telecoms and internet connectivity in Gaza now!
Telecommunications blackout in the Gaza Strip is an attack on human rights
Internet Shutdowns

#KeepItOn: Telecommunications blackout in the Gaza Strip is an attack on human rights

13 Oct 2023

People living in the Gaza Strip have been enduring a near-complete communications blackout, constituting a violation of human rights.

Press Release
#KeepItOn: Telecommunications blackout in the Gaza Strip is an attack on human rights
13 Oct 2023
#KeepItOn: Telecommunications blackout in the Gaza Strip is an attack on human rights

Guides

How to stay safe online in the context of conflict in Gaza
Digital Security

Staying safe online in the context of conflict in Gaza  

24 Oct 2023

This digital resilience tipsheet compiled by Access Now and SMEX is designed to support you in defending against reported threats.

Guide
Staying safe online in the context of conflict in Gaza  
24 Oct 2023
Staying safe online in the context of conflict in Gaza  
Tech and conflict
Transparency

Tech and conflict: a guide for responsible business conduct

18 May 2023

This guide is meant to help tech companies think through the impacts of their decisions in the context of conflict.

Guide
Tech and conflict: a guide for responsible business conduct
18 May 2023
Tech and conflict: a guide for responsible business conduct
Regulating digital platforms
Content Governance

Content governance in times of crisis: how platforms can protect human rights

29 Nov 2022

The “Declaration for content and platform governance principles in times of crisis” lays out principles for social media platforms to help ensure privacy, freedom of expression, and access to information during crises.

Publication
Content governance in times of crisis: how platforms can protect human rights
29 Nov 2022
Content governance in times of crisis: how platforms can protect human rights
Digital Security Helpline BG
Digital Security

DIGITAL SECURITY HELPLINE

29 Jul 2022

Our Helpline provides 24/7 free of charge technical support for journalists, activists, and human rights defenders

Page
DIGITAL SECURITY HELPLINE
29 Jul 2022
DIGITAL SECURITY HELPLINE

Additional resources

FAQS

What does Palestine’s online space look like?

Historically, online spaces have been more restricted and difficult to access in Palestine than in other countries. This is largely due to interference with available technology, online censorship, and surveillance, including:

Since the Israeli siege on Gaza escalated, access to internet and telecommunications services have been severely limited. This is a result of attacks on civilian infrastructure, fuel depletion, and deliberate shutdowns by Israeli authorities, including:

  • Al–Watan Tower, a building that houses media offices and serves as a hub for internet service providers has been targeted by Israeli airstrikes. 
  • The offices of two other ISPs, Paltel and Jawwal, were also destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
  • Based on our analysis of available data, as of October 31, 15 of the 19 providers operating in Gaza were facing a complete shutdown of their mobile and broadband services, and the internet traffic across Gaza had decreased by over 80%.
  • As of November 20, there had been four full communication blackouts in Gaza: on October 27-29, November 1, November 5, and on November 16 as Paltel announced the shutdown of their services in Gaza due to fuel depletion.

What can the international community do to defend digital rights for people impacted by this conflict?

Civil society has issued 25 recommendations for parties to the conflict, international organizations, global leaders, private sector actors, and other international stakeholders in support of an immediate physical and digital ceasefire. Individuals can support by holding their home governments accountable for responding to these calls to action, speaking out in support of a ceasefire, seeking out trustworthy news sources, and amplifying the voices of Palestinians who are being silenced online.

Latest updates

digital ceasefire gaza
Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence

We need digital ceasefires to tackle warfare in the digital age

18 Jul 2024
News
We need digital ceasefires to tackle warfare in the digital age
Context News ↗
18 Jul 2024
We need digital ceasefires to tackle warfare in the digital age
|Human rights problem with Google Cloud Platform in Saudi Arabia - Twitter thumbnail
Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence

These corporations are the true “winners” of the war on Gaza

4 Jul 2024
News
These corporations are the true “winners” of the war on Gaza
The Nation ↗
4 Jul 2024
These corporations are the true “winners” of the war on Gaza
Thumbnail Image: It's not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices
Data Protection
Data Protection

L’UE détourne le regard face à la surveillance de masse d’Israël

11 Jun 2024
News
L’UE détourne le regard face à la surveillance de masse d’Israël
Elucid ↗
11 Jun 2024
L’UE détourne le regard face à la surveillance de masse d’Israël
Thumbnail Image: It's not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices
Content Governance
Content Governance

A perspective on Meta’s moderation of Palestinian voices

27 May 2024
News
A perspective on Meta’s moderation of Palestinian voices
Tech Policy Press ↗
27 May 2024
A perspective on Meta’s moderation of Palestinian voices
digital ceasefire gaza
Internet Shutdowns
Internet Shutdowns

International Court of Justice: Protect evidence in the Gaza war 

22 May 2024

We join organizations defending freedom of expression in supporting South Africa’s request to the ICJ to ensure unimpeded access to Gaza for fact-finding missions and journalists to assess and preserve evidence.

Press Release
International Court of Justice: Protect evidence in the Gaza war 
22 May 2024
International Court of Justice: Protect evidence in the Gaza war 
#StopSilencingPalestine
Content Governance
Content Governance

La guerra nella Striscia di Gaza si combatte anche su TikTok

22 May 2024
News
La guerra nella Striscia di Gaza si combatte anche su TikTok
Internazionale ↗
22 May 2024
La guerra nella Striscia di Gaza si combatte anche su TikTok
Thumbnail Image: It's not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices
Content Governance
Content Governance

Israeli military censored over 600 articles last year: report

18 May 2024
News
Israeli military censored over 600 articles last year: report
The New Arab ↗
18 May 2024
Israeli military censored over 600 articles last year: report
How to stay safe online in the context of conflict in Gaza
Data Protection
Data Protection

I dati sensibili dei cittadini europei verranno trasferiti in Israele

17 May 2024
News
I dati sensibili dei cittadini europei verranno trasferiti in Israele
Pressenza ↗
17 May 2024
I dati sensibili dei cittadini europei verranno trasferiti in Israele
|Human rights problem with Google Cloud Platform in Saudi Arabia - Twitter thumbnail

Hey Google: we need to learn more about your role in the war on Gaza

16 May 2024

Amid revelations of AI use by the Israeli army in Gaza, Access Now urges Google for transparency through an open letter to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc.

Press Release
Hey Google: we need to learn more about your role in the war on Gaza
16 May 2024
Hey Google: we need to learn more about your role in the war on Gaza
KeepItOn 2023 Report Internet Shutdowns
Internet Shutdowns
Internet Shutdowns

Shrinking democracy, growing violence: internet shutdowns in 2023

15 May 2024

Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition documented 283 internet shutdowns in 2023 — the highest number since 2016.

Publication
Shrinking democracy, growing violence: internet shutdowns in 2023
15 May 2024
Shrinking democracy, growing violence: internet shutdowns in 2023
Restore Telecoms and Internet Connectivity in Gaza Now!
Internet Shutdowns
Internet Shutdowns

Israël legt internet plat in zuidelijk Gaza

12 May 2024
News
Israël legt internet plat in zuidelijk Gaza
NIEUWS ↗
12 May 2024
Israël legt internet plat in zuidelijk Gaza
Algorithmic accountability
Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence

Israel uses Gaza as a test lab for dystopian technologies

9 May 2024
News
Israel uses Gaza as a test lab for dystopian technologies
il manifesto ↗
9 May 2024
Israel uses Gaza as a test lab for dystopian technologies