Israel, Palestinians cooperate on Gaza Internet

For two days, Israel and PALTEL worked together to lay 15 km. of optical cables to provide Gaza high-speed Internet service.

October 4, 2012 22:44
2 minute read.
Gaza teacher shows a girl how to use computer

Gaza teacher shows a girl how to use computer 370 (R). (photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

For two days hostilities ceased along a half kilometer stretch of the Gaza fence as Israelis and Palestinians jointly toiled to provide the strip with its first high speed internet service.

It will take another two weeks for the service to be up and running, said Maj. Adam Avidan who heads the foreign relations department for the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Administration to the Gaza Strip.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“It will allow Gazans to connect to the world, and hopefully to peace,” he said.

But laying 15 km. of new lines of optical cables onto an already existing 40 kilometer stretch, is not an easy task in an area that faces an almost daily barrage of mortars and kassam rockets from Gaza, he said.

For 10 hours on Wednesday and again on Thursday, workers wearing bullet-proof vests and helmets drilled and dug into the ground to lay the infrastructure the optic fibers.

Typically, Avidan said, this is a very dangerous stretch of the fence. Just 350 meters away is a Palestinian neighborhood el Haza, near Khan Yunis, “you can see the homes and the people,” he said.

“It can be a battle zone,” he added.

“But this is Israel’s answer to the hundreds of mortars, to connect the people in Gaza to the world,” Avidan said.

He added that Israel was fighting terrorists in Gaza, not its civilians.

Until now, he said, Palestinians in Gaza used an internet system from the 1990s, which is very old and very slow.

It provides improved telephone and cable services, fast internet and unlimited data services.

The Palestinian telecommunication company in the West Bank, PALTEL, and the Israeli company HOT jointly organized the operation with the help of the IDF, the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Administration, he said.

It informed its Palestinian counterpart of the operation, Avidan added. PALTEL funded the project.

In advance of the operation, four joint meetings were held with PAL, HOT and Israeli security representatives to coordinate all the details.

“It was all done under heavy security measures,” he said.

Many military personnel from the Tzabar battalion, which is part of the Givati infantry brigade, protected the workers, Avidan said.

“The whole operation was treated and run like a military operation,” he said. Everything, down to the last detail was arranged in advance, he said.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN