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3 Nov 2023

Riddi Kanetkar & Tasmin Lockwood, Business Insider Africa

Airstrikes & blackouts significantly harm Gaza's tech economy & workers

"They're not reaching out to us: How the Israel-Hamas war demolished Gaza's struggling tech economy," 31 Oct 2023

... Gaza Sky Geeks... backed by Google and Microsoft, was set up to foster new startups and has developed a coding academy... Following Hamas' terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7 and Israel's retaliatory airstrikes, the building is now a shell.

... Palestinian tech workers have comparatively fewer resources (namely internet connectivity and cash) at their disposal and tend to be reliant on outsourced work... With Israel's airstrikes against Gaza stifling the region's already shaky internet service, working has become next to impossible... "Whenever we have an escalation of the crisis on the ground, this is usually reflected in our connectivity," said Mona Shtaya, a Palestinian digital-rights researcher at the US's Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy who works remotely from the West Bank. "The first thing that was targeted during the ongoing escalation was the communication infrastructure and electricity..." This affects remote workers, freelancers, tech workers, and students who "won't be able to pursue their duties."

... [B]efore the attacks... it was already difficult to import hardware and other equipment... Those who look abroad to find jobs in tech or as remote workers are stifled by a lack of online payment infrastructure...