Taking to X, Ghebreyesus stated, “We have lost touch with our staff in Gaza, with health facilities, health workers and the rest of our humanitarian partners on the ground.This siege makes me gravely concerned for their safety and the immediate health risks to vulnerable patients. We urge immediate protection of all civilians and full humanitarian access.”
Similarly, Unicef executive director Catherine Russell said Unicef lost touch with its colleagues in Gaza. Taking to X, Russell stated, “We have lost touch with our colleagues in Gaza. I’m extremely concerned about their safety and another night of unspeakable horror for 1M children in #Gaza. All humanitarians and the children and families they serve MUST be protected.”Meanwhile, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is facing a “total collapse with unimaginable consequences for more than 2 million civilians.”
In a post shared on X, Guterres stated, “The humanitarian system in Gaza is facing a total collapse with unimaginable consequences for more than 2 million civilians. Needs are growing ever more critical & colossal. Food, water, medicine & fuel must be allowed to reach all civilians swiftly, safely & at scale.”
The development comes at a time when Israel has announced it is expanding its military campaign against Hamas. Explosions have been seen in Gaza skyline as Israel intensifies ground operations, Reuters reported.
Missiles were also fired at Israel’s Ashkelon city. Heavy shelling lit up the night on the Gaza side of the border area with Israel on Friday as the Israeli army expanded its military operation into the enclave, according to visuals captured by Reuters.
Meanwhile, UK foreign secretary James Cleverly said Israel is expanding its military campaign and said that the safety of British nationals remains Britain’s top priority.
Taking to X, Cleverly stated, “Israel is expanding their military campaign against Hamas. The UK’s top priority remains the safety of British nationals in Gaza and the region. We support Israel’s right to self-defence, in line with IHL, and continue to push for the protection of Palestinian civilians.”
The hashtag #starlinkforgaza is trending on X as calls for SpaceX to provide Starlink internet to Gaza grow amidst the almost total communications blackout in the enclave, Al Jazeera reported.
NetStream, a primary internet provider in the Gaza Strip, has stopped providing services, the global internet monitor NetBlocks announced in a post shared on X, The Jerusalem Post reported.
In a post shared on X, NetBlocks wrote, “Confirmed: Real-time network data show that NetStream, one of the last remaining internet providers in Gaza, has collapsed days after the operator notified subscribers that service would end due to a severe shortage of fuel supplies.”
Watch: Hamas claims 50 Israeli hostages killed in Gaza during IDF airstrikes since October 7
The chart posted by the internet monitor shows network connectivity in Palestine started to rapidly deteriorate on October 7, when Hamas launched an attack on Israel, according to The Jerusalem Post report.
Palestinian mobile phone service provider Jawwal said that services, including phone and internet, had been cut by heavy bombardment, The Jerusalem Post reported. Palestine Red Crescent Society in a statement said it had completely lost contact with its operations room in Gaza and all its teams operating on the ground.
Palestine Red Crescent in a statement said, “We are deeply concerned about the ability of our teams to continue providing their emergency medical services, especially since this disruption affects the central emergency number ‘101’ and hinders the arrival of ambulance vehicles to the wounded and injured,” CNN reported.
On Friday, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the military has ramped up airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in the past few hours and will expand activity tonight, The Times of Israel reported.
Israel Hamas War: Israeli army gets ‘green light’ for ground operation in Gaza, says Economy Minister
Hagari said, “The Air Force is striking underground targets very significantly,” adding that ground forces will “expand” their activity tonight. For the past two days, IDF infantry forces and tanks have carried out limited raids into the Gaza Strip.
According to Hagari, the IDF will continue to strike Gaza City and surrounding regions in northern Gaza. He renewed his call for Palestinians to relocate to the southern part of the Gaza Strip, according to The Times of Israel report.
Hagari said, “We are prepared to defend in all arenas. We are acting in order to protect the security interests of the State of Israel.”Palestinian media outlets report heavy Israeli airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, particularly in its north.