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Official: Israel 'serious' about cutting West Bank power
Published Thursday 23/08/2012 (updated) 24/08/2012 15:34
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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli and Palestinian officials will meet this week to discuss the Palestinian electric company's debts and set a payment schedule to postpone blackouts in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian Energy Authority director Omar Kittaneh and the director of an Israeli company will attend the meeting, said Hisham al-Omari, the director of the Jerusalem Electric Company.

Al-Omari said the Israeli electric company is demanding back payments and is serious about cutting off electricity to Ramallah, Bethlehem Jericho and parts of Jerusalem if payments are not received.

The Jerusalem Electric Company owes about 415 million shekels ($104 million), he said.

Al-Omari blamed the Palestinian Authority for failing to seek payments from refugee camps and said the company could not take responsibility for the camps, which are exempted from paying for electricity.

"The PA should take financial responsibility for the refugee camps. The camps are part of us, and they have to take responsibility and pay their bills," he said.

Al-Omari will meet with the minister of finance, Nabil Qasis, and energy authority director Kittaneh to resolve the issue, he said.
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1 ) Soluition / Freedom
23/08/2012 15:57
Only in some of the OPEC countries is energy provided freely to citizens,
and everywhere else in the rest of the world, if you do NOT pay your bills
for the energy provided, your service will soon be suspended; however,
** I HAVE A SOLUTION **
The OPEC countries can freely provide Israel an equivalent amount of Kilowatt-Hours in oil, to cover electricity costs, that Israel provides to the PA:
1- old debts ("415 million shekels"), and
2- future monthly needs going forward !!

2 ) Robby / USA
23/08/2012 16:39
"The PA should take financial responsibility for the refugee camps." - Why aren't the people that are actually receiving the electricity responsible?

3 ) Filipe / Portugal
23/08/2012 21:48
Robby...... That would mean that it would no longer be attractive to live in the camp !!!! OMG !!!! Camps would disappear !!!!!

4 ) Robby / USA
24/08/2012 00:27
3 ) Filipe / Portugal - Ooops, forget about the end game! If the West Bank is Palestinian land then I still don't understand why there are refugee camps there (like there are in Gaza).

5 ) Joe Fattal / USA
24/08/2012 01:13
Which part of Jerusalem Israel intend to cut-off the electric power. The good side or their side. I thought Jerusalem is Israel eternal capital. That's what Israel say anyhow.

6 ) Elaine / USA
26/08/2012 12:46
Filipe and Robby: When was the last time that you visited Palestine? When did you spend any time in the refugee camps in Bethlehem or Nablus? Are you aware that Israel continues to steal Palestinian land and build settlements? Are you aware that there is 30% unemployment in the few West Bank town under Palestinian control? Are you aware of the terrible state of the economy in Palestine because of Israel control over their livlihoods? I suggest you do a little research into the situation.

7 ) Robby / USA
27/08/2012 05:50
6 ) Elaine / USA - It's been a few years - but you bring up a good point, why are there refugee camps in Bethlehem and Nablus?

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
27/08/2012 21:46
Legally, I don't see how Israel can cut power. As the occupying power, Israel is obliged to assure the well-being of the population...Oh wait, this is Israel. They don't have to obey laws.
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