MTIT urges international pressure to enable 3G, 4G in Palestinian Territory

30 Jan 2015

The Palestinian Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology (MTIT) has reportedly called on the international community to pressure the Israeli authorities to enable the use of 3G and 4G services by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza regions. In a press release cited by the Palestinian News & Info Agency, the ministry was said to have voiced astonishment over a recent order which it claimed had been passed by the Israeli government and allows for the provision of 3G services to illegal settlements in the aforementioned areas, while depriving Palestinians of such connectivity. The MTIT has argued that such a situation contradicts Article 36 of the Oslo Agreement of 1993, while also violating relevant international conventions and deprives the indigenous people of their own resources.

Article 36 of the Oslo Agreement, the report noted, stipulates: ‘Israel recognises that the Palestinian side has the right to build and operate separate and independent communication systems and infrastructures including telecommunication networks, a television network and a radio network … The Palestinian side has the right to establish its own telecommunications policies, systems and infrastructures. The Palestinian side also has the right to choose any and all kinds of communication systems (including broadcasting systems) and technologies, suitable for its future in, inter alia, basic and value added services (including cellular telephony).’

With the statement from the MTIT said to have called the current situation in which its citizens cannot access 3G and 4G services ‘a form of racial discrimination’, communications minister Mousa Allam noted that Israel currently imposes strict restrictions on the entry of equipment needed to modernise telecom services and networks in the Palestinian Territory.

Palestinian Territory, Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology (MTIT)