Israel’s Electric Company decided on Monday to take steps to collect the mounting unpaid debt of the Palestinian Authority.
Starting Monday at noon, the company will curtail service to a number of cities in the West Bank. This is done as part of the IEC reduction of the debt owed by the PA and by the East Jerusalem Electric Company, an Arab owned utility.
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For now, the Israeli provider will deny electricity to these customers for 45 minutes a day in five arteries supplyinh Shchem and Jenin.
The debt owed by the PA and EJEC has mounted over the years, to reach just under $500 million. The Israeli Electric Company has warned over a long period of time of the need for immediate settlement of the debt, but so far has seen no response.
According to the daily Maariv website, despite the appearance of a business decision, however, there is no doubt that today’s move has a political aspect, since the electric company would not act without the approval of the political echelon.
Electric Company Chairman Retired General Yiftah Ron-Tal said at a conference of the weekly Sheva, that “as chairman of the IEC I have said here a year ago, that it’s unacceptable that while we cut service to a private consumer who didn’t pay their electric bill, we continue to supply an entire population that owes us money not terminate it. the Palestinian Authority owes the power company, meaning to electricity consumers in Israel, nearly [$500 million]. A year has passed since then, and this afternoon we start to limit service availability.”