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‘israeli’ SIMs threat to Gaza security, economy: Officials

18 November 2016 17:44

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Authorities in Gaza have started a comprehensive push to stop the residents from using Israeli SIM cards, which they say pose security and economic threats to the blockaded Palestinian territory.

The drive was announced by the Palestinian Telecommunications and Interior Ministries, which are overseen by the resistance movement Hamas, Reuters reported on Friday.

The SIMs are distributed by Israeli telecommunication service providers Cellcom and Partner.

Gaza’s Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozom outlined the security threats and said “conversations made via these cards can be stored on Israeli servers and used by the occupation.”

“Israeli intelligence officers have also used these SIM cards to contact some collaborators,” he added.

The official also said the use of Israeli SIM cards across the enclave has been damaging Palestinian provider Jawwal’s business.

On the legal concerns, Telecommunications Ministry official Zeyad al-Sheikh Deeb said “these companies are not registered in Palestinian areas and therefore we can’t allow them to operate.”

He also said the Israeli SIMs, which can work in tandem with a Virtual Private Network app, allow unlimited access to indecent content in the cyberspace.

The regime uses a range of espionage tactics, including drones, to gather intelligence from the densely-populated Palestinian territory.

Tel Aviv’s military has launched three devastating wars against Gaza after imposing a crippling blockade on the coastal enclave in 2007.

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