Officials: Egyptian Military Activity Affecting Israeli Cell Networks

Egyptian Army’s RPGs are seen on a highway to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against terrorists, in Ismailia, Egypt. (Ministry of Defence/Handout via Reuters)

Israeli cellular networks have been experiencing interference since Wednesday, the Communications Ministry said Thursday – and the reason is due to Egyptian military activity in Sinai. The Egyptians are apparently jamming cellular networks in northern Sinai as part of their campaign against Islamist groups in the region, the Ministry said, responding to the complaints it has received in the 24-hour period between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

The problem is present on all cellular networks in Israel, more prevalent in the south than in the north. Many people have complained of dropped calls, static and other interferences. The main cellular networks in Israel operate at 2,100 and 1,800 megahertz, and these networks, as well as networks at lower bandwidths, are being affected. The Ministry said that it was “working on a solution,” and hoped to have full, uninterrupted service restored soon.

Egypt earlier this month declared that it had opened a “major campaign” in northern Sinai against Islamist groups that have essentially taken over the region. Islamist forces in northern Sinai, along with Islamic State operatives, have killed over 100 Egyptian security officers in recent years, and have essentially taken control of parts of Sinai. Egyptian forces have reported many successes in the battle against the Islamist groups in recent weeks.