Israel escalated its military operations in the Gaza Strip, launching a series of airstrikes and artillery fire that knocked out communications and led to a near-blackout of information. The Israeli military announced the expansion of ground operations, indicating a potential full-scale invasion aimed at neutralizing the ruling Hamas militant group, which had carried out attacks in southern Israel on October 7.

The Palestinian telecom provider, Paltel, reported a “complete disruption” of internet, cellular, and landline services, isolating Gaza’s 2.3 million residents from the outside world, although some satellite phones remained operational.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 7,300. In the occupied West Bank, over 110 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began three weeks ago. On the Israeli side, the government reported more than 1,400 deaths, including at least 310 soldiers. Additionally, at least 229 hostages were taken into Gaza, with four being released earlier.

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