Israel electric company to begin cutting power to PA due to debts

The IEC will cut off the electricity supply to Palestinian villages in the West Bank, to put pressure on the PA to pay its 1.7 billion shekel electric bill.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
September 8, 2019 16:30
1 minute read.
Israeli engineer stands in the new electrical substation near the West Bank city of Jenin

Israeli engineer stands in the new electrical substation near the West Bank city of Jenin. (photo credit: ABED OMAR QUSINI/REUTERS)

The Israel Electric Corporation will begin cutting off the electricity supply to the Palestinian Authority after the upcoming September 17 elections due to outstanding debts, Kan News reported.

The IEC will cut off the electricity supply to Palestinian villages in the West Bank to put pressure on the PA to pay its NIS 1.7 billion electric bill.

The decision to halt the supply of electricity is not expected to be stopped by political leadership, but they may ask the company to show restraint, according to Kan.

Two weeks ago, the IEC notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the ministers of finance and energy, the Electricity Authority and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories about the decision to cut off the electricity supply due to the PA's debt.

A High Court decision two months ago stated that, starting from the date of the notification to the relevant parties, the IEC has to wait 35 days until it is permitted to cut off the electricity supply.

Last month, Israel and the PA reached an agreement in which the authority would pay 300 million shekels to Israel to cover the debt owed to the IEC. According to the agreement, the money would be deducted from taxes for the PA, and the company and the authority would work to form an orderly contract for the supply of electricity.

In June, Kan reported that the PA had decided to stop paying for electricity supplied by Israel due to a financial crisis caused by the PA's refusal to receive tax revenues from Israel from which payments to families of security prisoners and "martyrs" were deducted.

The PA denied that they had decided to stop paying their electricity bills.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.


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