Egypt jams Sinai phones, causes Israeli and Gazan outages

Egypt jams Sinai phones, causes Israeli and Gazan outages
Cairo and Tel Aviv are working together to halt cell phone disruptions in Israel and Gaza, reports suggest.
1 min read
08 March, 2018
Besides the recent network outage, Gazans deal with regular power shortages [Getty]

Egypt and Israel are working together to halt disruptions to mobile coverage after Egyptian phone jamming against Sinai insurgents caused outages in Israel and the Gaza Strip, Reuters reported.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has cooperated quietly with Israel over its campaign in the Sinai, where insurgents linked to the Islamic State are based.

But Israeli officials appear to be caught offguard by Egypt’s latest phone jamming, with Minister of Communications Ayoob Kara saying he is working with his Egyptian counterparts to solve the “crisis”.

Cairo launched a major ground, sea and air campaign against Sinai fighters linked to the Islamic State early last month. On 21 February, Egypt commenced its phone jamming efforts in the Sinai.

“We’ve never seen anything this intensive or protracted,” one Israeli official said.

Egyptian officials have confirmed that electronic warfare is being used in the Sinai. “Obviously, we want to stop terrorists from communicating,” an Egyptian official told Reuters.

Palestinian residents in Gaza said they had been experiencing mobile network issues. In Israel, the telecom provider Partner said hundreds complained about cell reception problems.

Communications Minister Kara said that phone disruptions should end within the next three days.