A fifteen-hour absolute blackout started with a loss of mobile phones signal. I was using my mobile phone, and tweeting here and there and this and that as usual. There was electricity, fans that seemed useless because of the hot damp weather. There was Internet, not as fast as you may think, but it still worked. And there was carrier signal. It was just one of those long hot days that has almost come to an end. Only a few moments separated us from Iftar.
I was about to tweet one more time before I go get ready for Iftar, then I hear the Maghreb adan. “It’s finally time to eat now, God I’m starving.” I said to myself. I leave my computer and rush to the dinning table, after washing my hands of course. I finish Iftar and rush back to my room and start tweeting again. Don’t ask me why am I doing this, but it’s more of a habit. My whole life is online.
I waited for my timeline to refresh, but it seemed weird, as it wasn’t updating, not showing any indication of being offline. I check the Wi-Fi and it was working perfectly. It seemed weird, yes, but I excused the lame [biggest] Internet Service Provider (ISP) “Hadara” as they probably have technical issues and they will fix it soon. I get my phone to call my friend, Mohammed, to see when are we heading to “Abu Rafeeg’s”, something we were doing for longer than I can remember.
The phone didn’t have any signals. They were replaced with “No Service”. I thought it’s only my phone that has automatically restarted itself because I forgot to close the many opened-in-background apps. I am using a AT&T locked iPhone 4 and I am using GEVEY SIM to unlock it, but that’s besides the point. If you use GEVEY SIM on your locked iPhone 4, you’ll need to follow a certain set of instructions to get your iPhone to connect to the carrier in case it was restarted or you took the SIM Card out. I thought that was the case, but something told me to go check my siblings’ phones before I go with that set of procedures. Just to make sure it’s only me, you know.
Nobody’s phone had signals. I then have come to think that something is wrong with the lame sorry-ass first-and-only mobile carrier in Palestine, JAWWAL, have technical difficulties, too. Giving it another thought, it couldn’t be possible that both mobile phones AND Internet are offline. Luckily, landlines were working though couldn’t make calls to Jawwal, West Bank, or international numbers.
I called Mohammed on landline and so we went to Abu Rafeeg’s. There was a good number of people there and people started cussing and swearing at Jawwal and Hadara and their crap of a service and how bad they’re anticipating Al-Wataniyyah Palestine to kick-off in Gaza, since it has been the second carrier in the west bank for quite some time.
The more furious and angry the people looked, I have realized that this is not a coincidence. Not even close to an accident as news agencies reported. What happened yesterday, a fifteen-hour blackout striking on a population over 1.6 million in Gaza Strip, is of course, a tiny part of a much bigger plan. Furthermore, water was cut in Northern Gaza this morning. Tell me this one is a coincidence, please!
News agencies reported that an “Israeli” bulldozer was digging and they cut the communication fiber between Gaza Strip and “Israel”. Later, Israel denies any activity near that area close to the border, and both Hadara and Jawwal blamed “Israel” for it trying to run away with it without being sued.
I mean, think about it for a second. A fifteen-hour blackout that started right at Iftar and stopped in the next morning? This is nothing close to a mistake. Not even a coincidence. I know I said it before, but I say it again: this is a part of a much much bigger plan. Bigger than you, and I, and everyone else combined.
To make the blackout night even worse, it was the time for the scheduled power cut. I ended up in a dark disconnected room worrying and thinking about what’s going to happen next. Will raid us by air this time? Maybe an invasion? Is this the beginning or a real war?
I then started to seriously find a cheap alternative. Getting a BlackBerry in Gaza costs an arm and a leg, even more. For those who don’t know, BlackBerry phones were the only devices that remained connected to the Internet during the blackout but anyway, a cheap alternative would work but is very expensive on the long run, regardless of the risks.
But the question remains unanswered. What is all of this about? Were “they” testing whether they really can strike with a blackout, invade, wipe us all out, and pretend like nothing ever happened? This cartoon says it all.
My interview on Wednesday August 10 2011 at AJStream on AlJazeera English regarding #GazaBlackout: