GAZA: Gaza on Friday night endured what has been described as the heaviest bombardment since the start of the war on Oct. 7, according to Arab News’ correspondent Ahmad Hijazee.
Relentless airstrikes and artillery fire lit up the sky over the enclave for hours.
“I am in Gaza and so is my family, but I know nothing about them and cannot reach them,” said Hijazee on Saturday, adding that Israel has knocked out communications, leaving each home cut off from the rest of the Strip.
Media outlets and civil society organizations said they have lost contact with representatives because of the blackout, further isolating more than 2 million Palestinians in the besieged enclave.
Palestine’s telecom service provider, Paltel, said the bombardment caused “complete disruption” of internet, cellular and landline services.
In a statement on Saturday, the Israeli Defense Forces said about 100 of its fighter jets hit 150 “underground targets” in northern Gaza.
According to Hizajee, the bombardment continued throughout the night from air, sea and land, and smoke from “(white) phosphorus munitions swept over vast areas of Gaza.”
He said: “We did not know if we were going to live and see the morning.”
Local reporters described the situation inside the Gaza Strip as chaotic, with rescue teams, short of equipment, searching for survivors by hand amid the smoke and rubble.
Israel’s military spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, on Friday announced “expanding ground operations” in Gaza after more than two weeks of heavy bombardment.
The death toll in the enclave has exceeded 7,703, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, with at least 19,740 people injured and thousands trapped under rubble.
Arab News has lost contact with Hijazee since early Saturday due to the communications blackout in Gaza.