The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) threatened that it will begin cutting off the electricity supply to the Palestinian Authority (PA) after the upcoming September 17th Israeli elections due to ‘outstanding debts’, Kan Israeli website reported Sunday.
According to the website, the IEC will discontinue the electricity supply to Palestinian villages in the West Bank to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to pay its 1.7 billion New Israeli Shekel (NIS) debt.
2 weeks ago, the IEC reportedly notified Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Energy, the Electricity Authority, and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories about the decision to stop the electricity supply because of the PA’s outstanding debt.
An Israeli High Court decision, 2 months ago stated that starting from the date of the notification to the relevant parties, the IEC has to wait 35 days until being permitted to cut off the electricity supply.
In August of 2018, it was reported in the Marker newspaper that the Israeli Ministry of Finance is moving to transfer an estimated NIS 500 million to the electricity company from the Palestinian tax funds collected by the occupation authorities, claiming to pay the accumulated debts of the Palestinian Authority to the IEC.
In response, the Head of the Palestinian Energy Authority, Thafer Melhem denied all claims of accumulated debts by the Palestinian Electricity Company to the tune of 1.7 billion shekels.
Melhem explained that there are only debts accumulated on the Al-Quds electricity company, worth 600 million shekels, and that within the 2016 agreement, the company is scheduling these debts, but, according to Melhem, Israel withdrew from this agreement. Israel asked the PA to pay the remaining amount owing immediately, threatening that otherwise, the power will be cut off from the Jerusalem Electricity Company covered regions after two weeks.
Source : Palestine News Network
Edited for IMEMC : Ali Salam