According to witnesses and companies monitoring global connectivity, most of the Gaza Strip has experienced an almost complete shutdown of internet and mobile communication.

The largest telecommunications provider in the Gaza Strip, which was still largely operational, Paltel, announced on Friday that it had completely ceased all services after a powerful Israeli airstrike earlier in the same day destroyed its last remaining infrastructure connecting it to the global internet.

"Dear people in our beloved homeland, we regret to announce a complete cessation of all communication and internet services to the Gaza Strip in light of the ongoing aggression," Paltel said in a statement translated by NBC News. "Intensive bombings that have occurred over the past hour have led to the destruction of all remaining international routes connecting Gaza with the outside world, in addition to routes previously destroyed during the aggression, resulting in the cessation of all communication services from our beloved Gaza Strip. May God protect you and protect our country."

Isik Mater, the research director of NetBlocks, a British company that monitors global internet connectivity, said that the explosion resulted in the largest internet disruption since the beginning of the conflict.

"Today's incident is the most significant disruption of internet access in the Gaza Strip since the start of the conflict and will be seen by many as a complete or near-total internet blackout," Mater said. "The loss of international routes is likely to seriously limit residents' ability to communicate with the outside world."

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society released a statement on Friday, stating that the outages are likely to create serious problems for emergency medical services in the Gaza Strip.

"We have completely lost contact with the operational headquarters in the Gaza Strip and all of our teams working there because the Israeli authorities have disconnected all wired, cellular, and internet communications," the group said. "We are deeply concerned about the ability of our teams to continue providing emergency medical assistance, especially since this failure affects the central emergency service number '101' and hampers the arrival of ambulances to the wounded and injured."

An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said on Friday that they "increased the amount of strikes in Gaza," including hitting infrastructure that, according to them, was used by terrorists.

Telecommunications services in the Gaza Strip have already been severely degraded since the start of the conflict. Some have reported on social media that power outages occurred due to bombs hitting their infrastructure.

Internet providers and mobile towers require significant power to operate. Israel cut off the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip following attacks by Hamas, and on October 11, the only power plant in the Gaza Strip ran out of fuel.

Doug Madory, the director of internet analysis at Kentik, an internet monitoring company, said that the current power outage is much worse than the last major power outage in Gaza when limited electricity forced many internet providers to restrict access and rely on generators.

Belal Khaled, a photographer from Gaza, told NBC News via WhatsApp chat that there has been a complete shutdown of internet and mobile communication. He mentioned that he could communicate only briefly because he had temporary access to satellite internet.

In an official press statement, Hamas claimed that the cutoff of internet and phone access "warns of the occupation forces' intention to commit new mass killings and genocides away from the eyes of the press and the entire world."

Husam Mekdad, a telecommunications specialist in Gaza, told NBC News via Signal chat earlier this week that some internet providers store fuel for generators, though supplies are always limited.

Mekdad explained that communication was already limited as a significant portion of the infrastructure had been destroyed by bombings. Due to the lack of electricity, he was forced to charge his mobile phone from a neighbor's solar panel.