Jerusalem24 – On Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology condemned the decision by Israeli interim Minister of Communications Benny Gantz, to allow Israeli cellular telecommunications companies to expand their coverage of 4G networks in the West Bank to reach 95%. ignoring international law and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Ishaq Sidr, confirmed, in a press statement, that the ministry is closely following the matter with the relevant authorities, including the International Telecommunication Union and the International Quartet Office, and it will go to international courts to put an end to the Israeli decision. A decision which the minister claimed that the Israeli side aims to destroy the Palestinian economy, telecommunications companies, and preventing the development of the Palestinian technological sector.
“While the Palestinians are still deprived today of the services of the fourth and fifth generations, the Israeli government continues to impose a fait accompli on the ground and space, which we consider a violation and theft of the capabilities of the Palestinian people”
Ishaq Sidr, Palestinian Minister of Communications and Information Technology
Sidr considered that this step is not the first by the Israeli side, and is nothing but the completion of a systematic plan to control the Palestinian people’s right to frequency resources, which are scarce resources and the basic element for operating and spreading communication services and modern technology, which has become the main lever for all walks of life.
The Ministry called on all relevant international bodies to move quickly.
For his part, the CEO of the Palestinian Communications Group, Ammar al-Aker, considered that the Israeli decision to expand the coverage of Israeli 4G networks in the Palestinian territories is tantamount to an invasion of the Palestinian market by those companies. Al-Aker also called it an attempt to legitimize the Israeli settlements by treating them as lands belonging to the occupation state, stressing the necessity of concerting all official and informal efforts to confront these plans.
He added that the Israeli policy consecrates the occupation of all that is Palestinian, and the air has not been spared from that policy, especially since the occupation government continues to deny our companies the use of the fourth and fifth generation, which deprives our subscribers from benefiting from the same advantages offered by the occupation companies. Al-Aker also added that the international community is called upon to stop such decisions, by forcing Israel to return to the international fold, respecting the laws governing the work of the telecommunications sector, and refraining from imposing a fait accompli by force.
In turn, CEO of Ooredoo Dergham Mari said that this step consecrates the competitive advantage of Israeli companies and inflicts great damage on the telecommunications sector, which is one of the pillars of the Palestinian economy, which is already suffering from a ban on using the latest technological systems, especially the fourth and fifth generation, and the scarcity of frequencies granted to Palestinian companies. Thus, a heavy cost to those companies operating in this sector. And he continued, “we will continue with the ministry to claim our right to the fourth and fifth generation frequencies, and our company is fully prepared to invest tens of millions of dollars to launch this service as soon as it is allowed.”