Internet connectivity is gradually returning to the Gaza Strip following outages over the weekend.

NetBlocks confirmed yesterday (October 29) on X, formerly known as Twitter, that services were slowly being restored.

Gaza Strip 2021
– Getty Images

It comes after outages occurred as Israeli forces intensified their attacks on the region, in retaliation for the Hamas terror attack earlier this month.

Two days earlier on October 27, NetBlocks confirmed that there had been a "collapse in connectivity."

The outages left most residents cut off in the region, while the Palestinian Red Crescent said it couldn't reach its teams in Gaza.

It left residents unable to contact the outside world, with relatives taking to social media to document their struggles to reach people in Gaza.

Israel's chief military spokesperson declined to say whether the country was behind the telecommunications blackout, according to Reuters, but infrastructure was severely damaged in attacks.

Musk to provide Starlink support to Gaza aid organizations

In an effort to provide critical comms to the aid organizations, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has revealed that Internet service Starlink will provide "support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza."

However, his comments caused Israel's Minister of Communications, Shlomo Karhi, to say that "Israel will use all means at its disposal to fight this. Hamas will use it for terrorist activities. There is no doubt about it, we know it, and Musk knows it. Hamas is ISIS.

"Perhaps Musk would be willing to condition it with the release of our abducted babies, sons, daughters, elderly people. All of them! By then, my office will cut any ties with Starlink."

In response, Musk reiterated that the connectivity will only be provided for "purely humanitarian reasons."

He also stated that full security checks with both the US and Israeli governments will be carried before any Starlink terminal is turned on in Gaza.

Just last week, Karhi had said the Israeli Government was “coordinating” with SpaceX to use its terminals in the country, partly to benefit community leaders in “conflict zone settlements.”

Musk and Starlink are currently providing communications support to Ukraine in its war with Russia.

The satellite Internet provider connected both citizens and soldiers in the country amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

Russia targeted critical grid and telecoms infrastructure, destroying traditional communication methods, but Starlink has allowed many to keep in contact.

However, Musk has also restricted access to the service in Ukraine on occasion – including near Russian-occupied Crimea.

Not so popular in Iran

As reported by TeslaNorth, Iran's Ministry of Telecommunications has called for an immediate stop of Starlink’s satellite Internet services within the country, citing “unauthorized operations” and “violation of international regulations.”

The country has stated that Starlink must secure licenses for its activities in the country.

The International Telecommunications Radio Regulations Board determined that Starlink's satellite Internet services had violated international regulations.

Internet access in Iran was widely curtailed last year due to nationwide demonstrations. In response to this censorship, the US government relaxed some of its sanctions on exporting Internet services to Iran, which allowed SpaceX to provide Starlink.