eSIM Cards Offer Lifeline to Palestinians in Gaza Amid Communication Blackout

Wed Dec 27 2023
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GAZA CITY: Amid the continued power cuts and telecom breakdowns in war-torn Gaza, eSIM cards have emerged as a crucial lifeline for Palestinians, enabling internet access and maintaining vital communication channels with loved ones abroad as Israel continued relentless bombardments.

Hani al-Shaer, a local journalist, highlighted the significance of eSIM cards, stating, “Without them, we would be cut off from the world,” emphasizing their role in sharing information about the situation in Gaza. The besieged Palestinian territory recently experienced another telecoms breakdown, underscoring the challenges faced by residents.

The eSIM, a software version of traditional SIM cards, is embedded directly into devices and can be activated using a QR code. Gaza residents receive these codes from family members residing abroad, enabling them to connect in roaming mode to foreign networks, often Israeli or Egyptian.

Communication Blackout in Gaza

Human Rights Watch has expressed concerns that phone and internet disruptions in Gaza could “provide cover for atrocities and breed impunity while further undermining humanitarian efforts and putting lives at risk.” The ongoing conflict has heightened the importance of maintaining communication channels for both personal and informational purposes.

Samar Labad, a Gaza resident, described the eSIM as a “godsend,” emphasizing its critical role in enabling connectivity amid the challenging circumstances. The innovative use of technology in the form of eSIM cards showcases the resilience of Gaza’s residents in adapting to the difficulties imposed by Israel.

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