Palestinians get 3G Internet after decade-long row

Palestinian men look at mobile phones displayed under the logo of the Al-Wataniya Palestine phone company at a shop in the West Bank city of Jenin. (AFP)
Updated 24 January 2018
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Palestinians get 3G Internet after decade-long row

RAMALLAH: Palestinians in the occupied West Bank began receiving 3G mobile telecommunications services on Tuesday, after years of wrangling with the Israeli authorities.
The Jawwal and Wataniya firms began offering the service to their customers Tuesday morning, with Palestinians seeing the option appear on their phones for the first time.
Israel had previously blocked Palestinian mobile companies’ access to the necessary frequencies.
Third generation services were originally launched in the early 2000s, and much of the world already has 4G technology, while 5G is expected in the next year.
Ammar Aker, chief executive of the Paltel communications company which owns Jawwal, told AFP it had been a decade of work to get Israel to agree to 3G.
“We launched 3G technically and commercially about midnight on Monday. This is a strategic step we have been waiting for for more than 10 years. We hope it has a positive affect on the national communications (infrastructure) and economy.”
The launch coincided with a one-day strike across the West Bank in protest at the visit of US Vice President Mike Pence to Jerusalem and the US administration’s recognition of the disputed city as the capital of Israel.
The Palestinians see at least the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state and boycotted Pence’s visit.
A Wataniya spokesman, Shadi Al-Qawasmi, said stores were closed because of the strike but that 3G services were still offered on mobile devices.
The service will be available only in the West Bank for now and not in the Gaza Strip, blockaded by Israel for more than a decade.
The companies say they need Israeli permits to bring in equipment necessary. Egypt has also kept its border with Gaza largely closed in recent years.


Yemeni troops stop Houthi advances, inflict further casualties

Updated 19 min 59 sec ago
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Yemeni troops stop Houthi advances, inflict further casualties

  • The Yemeni army halted Houthi advances in a strategic district in Taiz
  • The army also liberated an important range of mountains in Saada

DUBAI: Eight Houthis were killed Tuesday during clashes with the Yemeni national forces in Taiz, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The militants were killed while trying to infiltrate sites in Tabab, a strategic route into Taiz, southwestern Yemen, the Yemeni military website 26 September News reported.

But the Houthi’s advance was halted by the army, which killed eight of the militia, the source added.

Al-Shaqb front is the main route to Sabr Al-Mawadem district in Taiz province.

Meanwhile members of the army took control of the route connecting the northern city of Saada with Kitaf and Albuqa districts after heavy clashes with Houthis, SPA reported.

The army took full control of the strategic mountain range in Kitaf and advanced towards Saada, inflicting heavy casualties on the Houthis.

Army units found and destroyed a large cache of weapons, 26 September News added.