Israeli cellular companies to expand West Bank coverage to 95%, ignoring int’l law

PNN/ Ramallah/

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 the fourth generation network in the West Bank to reach 95%, ignoring international laws and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Ishaq Sidr, confirmed, in a press statement on Monday, 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 this blatant transgression, through which the Israeli side aims to destroy the economy Palestinian 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,” he said.

He considered that this dangerous step is not the first by the Israeli side, and it 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 the Israeli fourth generation networks in the Palestinian territories is tantamount to an invasion of the Palestinian market by these companies, and 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 unofficial efforts to confront these plans.

Al-Aker added that the Israeli occupation 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 of benefiting from the same advantages offered by the occupation companies, which is reflected. Negatively our competitiveness.

He added that the international community is required to stop such decisions, by forcing Israel to return to the international fold, respecting the laws governing the operation 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 preventing the use of the latest technological systems, especially the fourth and fifth generation, and the scarcity of the frequencies granted to Palestinian companies. Its cost is high for those companies operating in this sector.

He added that together with the ministry, they will continue 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.