Israel steps up air and ground attacks in Gaza and cuts off the territory’s communications

Palestinians carry an injured man out of the destruction Friday, following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City. (AP Photo/Abed Khaled)

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Israel knocked out internet and communications in the Gaza Strip in stepped-up bombardment Friday night, largely cutting off its 2.3 million people from contact with each other and the outside world and creating a near-blackout of information, as the military said it was “expanding” ground operations in the territory.