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Internet and phone lines cut off in Gaza, Israel strikes refugee camp, Rafah crossing opens for some

Palestinians cross to the Egyptian side of the border crossing with the Gaza Strip in Rafah Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.
Palestinians cross to the Egyptian side of the border crossing with the Gaza Strip in Rafah Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AFP
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The latest developments from the Israel Hamas war.

Hundreds of foreign nationals, wounded, leave Gaza through Rafah border crossing


Hundreds of dual passport holders and dozens of seriously injured Palestinians were allowed to leave Gaza on Wednesday after more than three weeks under siege.

They left through the enclave's southern border at the Rafah crossing into Egypt.

The limited evacuation came as Israeli airstrikes destroyed apartments in a densely populated area for the second straight day.

The group were the first people to leave Gaza - other than four hostages released by Hamas and another rescued by Israeli forces - even as bombings have driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, and food, water and fuel run low. 

It remained unclear whether more people would be allowed to leave Gaza in coming days.

The opening of the crossing was negotiated between Egypt, Israel and Hamas, in coordination with the US. Qatar mediated the talks.

However, there is no indication how long it will stay open. 

Pressure is mounting to open Rafah on humanitarian grounds, though Cario is cautious about a mass movement of Gazans over the border onto its territory. 

The zone around the terminal has been hit during Israeli air raids. 

Internet and telephone networks cut off in Gaza

Communications have been cut in Gaza, two Palestinian providers, Paltel and Jawwal, said early on Wednesday.

Watchdog Netblocks confirmed that "the Gaza Strip is experiencing a new internet outage.” 

The incident - the second major cut in five days - means "a complete loss of telecommunications for most residents", it added. 

Humanitarian agencies have warned such blackouts severely disrupt their work, while others have alleged they could cover atrocities. 

An AFP journalist in Gaza previously said access to the telecommunication networks was only possible with an international SIM card.

Communications were previously cut in Gaza on Friday as Israel carried out intense strikes on the Palestinian territory, depriving its 2.4 million inhabitants of contact with the outside world. They were gradually restored from Sunday.


Human Rights Watch expressed concern at the time such a cut would serve as a “cover for mass atrocities”.

More than 8,500 people, mostly civilians, have already been killed in Gaza since the start of the Israel Hamas war, according to the enclave's health ministry. 

In Israel, more than 1,400 people were killed in Hamas' 7 October attack, according to Israeli authorities.

Israel strikes more than 10,000 'targets' in Gaza

The Israeli army announced on Wednesday it had struck more than 11,000 "targets" in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war. 


The Israel Defense Forces said the targets belonged to "terrorist organisations" in Gaza in a statement. 

Thousands of civilians in the Palestinian enclave have been hit in Israeli strikes on schools, hospitals and residential areas. 

Roughly half of Gaza's population are children, according to the UN.

Gaza refugee camp hit by Israeli airstrike

Israel attacked a densely populated refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing at least 50 Palestinians. 


It claimed a Hamas commander, Ibrahim Biari, was killed in the airstrike on Jabalia, Gaza's largest refugee camp, saying he was behind the "murderous terror attack" on 7 October. 

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem denied any senior commander was there and called the claim an Israeli pretext for killing civilians.

Palestinian health officials said at least 50 Palestinians were killed in the refugee camp blast and 150 wounded. 

Palestinians look for survivors among the rubble of destroyed buildings following Israeli airstrikes on Jabaliya refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City, 31/10/23.
Palestinians look for survivors among the rubble of destroyed buildings following Israeli airstrikes on Jabaliya refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City, 31/10/23.Abdul Qader Sabbah/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Hamas said there were 400 dead and injured in Jabalia, home to refugees from successive wars with Israel dating back to 1948. 


Euronews cannot independently verify these figures. 

Medics reportedly were overwhelmed by the number of casualties, treating people in hospital corridors. 

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday denounced "with the greatest firmness" the Israeli bombing. The Middle Eastern heavyweight has suspended negotiations on normalising ties with Israel, following Hamas' deadly assault. 

Israel and Hamas war strengthens Iranian regime - UN

Fighting between Israel and Hamas bolsters "repression" in Iran by diverting attention from internal critics of the regime, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the country said on Tuesday.


According to Javaid Rehman, the Islamic Republic has lost credibility since unprecedented protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022.

Iranian leaders were “already planning to intensify repression,” Rehman said in Washington during discussions on democracy in Iran.

“Given the current crisis, they feel even stronger because they believe they have succeeded in diverting attention from internal criticism and internal repression, by becoming or claiming to have become virulent defenders... of the Palestinian movement," he added.

Iran is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and maintains relations with Hamas.


It backs Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, which has repeatedly attacked Israeli forces since the violence erupted.

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