Israeli military, asked about Gaza coms blackout, says we do what needed to protect forces

View of Gaza from Israel's border

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's chief military spokesperson declined to say whether Israel was behind the telecommunications blackout that hit Gaza on Friday and which has left the besieged enclave largely cut off but said it would do what it needed to protect its forces.

Asked whether Israel had knocked out cellular services at the start of the ground offensive that began on Friday night, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said:

"We do what we have to do to secure our forces for as long as we must, temporary or permanent, as much as we need to and we will not say anything further about that."

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell and James Mackenzie; editing by David Evans)