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Palestinians get 3G internet after ten years of negotiating

Staff Writer |
Palestinians in the West Bank began receiving 3G mobile telecommunications services, after years of wrangling with the Israeli authorities.

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The Jawwal and Wataniya companies began offering the service to their customers Tuesday morning, with Palestinians seeing the option appear on their phones for the first time.

The companies say they need Israeli permits to bring in equipment necessary. Egypt has also kept its border with Gaza largely closed in recent years.

Israel had previously blocked Palestinian mobile companies' access to the necessary frequencies.

Third generation services were originally launched in the early 2000s, and much of the world already has 4G technology, while 5G is expected in the next year.

The launch coincided with a one-day strike across the West Bank in protest at the visit of US Vice President Mike Pence to Jerusalem and the U.S. administration's recognition of the disputed city as the capital of Israel.

The Palestinians see at least the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state and boycotted Pence's visit.

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