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Fayyad signs deal for refugee camps to pay electricity costs
Published Sunday 30/12/2012 (updated) 04/01/2013 17:21
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RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian Authority premier Salam Fayyad on Sunday signed a deal with representatives of refugee camps in the West Bank to start paying electricity costs.

Refugees living in the West Bank had been exempted from paying for electricity bills, and Palestinian power companies said the gap in payments was a main reason for their accumulating debts.

Israel in early December seized Palestinian tax revenues and transferred the money to the Israeli Electric Company, which supplies their Palestinian counterparts.

The loss of Israeli-collected revenues, around $100 million each month, put more pressure on the already struggling Palestinian Authority coffers, amid public sector strikes against salary delays.

The agreement signed on Sunday with the executive office for popular committees in the camps mandates electricity meters for all refugee residents.

The first 160 KW will be provided at cost price, and needy families will have their first 150 KW fully subsidized by the ministry of social affairs.

Fayyad lauded the work of the popular committees in reaching the deal, saying it achieved a balance between ending a waste of public money and maintaining social justice.

He also thanked the Palestinian electricity providers, emphasizing that the government is keen to support them in their national role in the face of Israeli threats.

In the summer, Palestinian officials said Israel was threatening to cut off power over the unpaid debts, which total around $100 million after this month's tax seizure.
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1 ) Not fair / refugees must get
30/12/2012 19:46
free Electricity!!

2 ) ShirleyS / Australia
30/12/2012 20:45
Turn up that heating, and run your sister Aatirah another hot bath.

3 ) Harry / Afganistan
30/12/2012 20:59
With the best will in the world Europeans are freezing this winter and these Arabs are turning up the thermostat, and Europeans are paying with aid money thats been generously donated.

4 ) Pongo / South Africa
30/12/2012 21:27
"If the current rate of conflict in Syria continues at the current pace we can reasonably project that numbers in need to rise from 2.5 million to 4 million by the early new year." And if they get wind that the PA are handing out free electric to the needy, there may be an early run on the State of Palestine's housing stock.

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
30/12/2012 22:19
Crikey! And I thought we Israelis had the corner on the stupidity-market for giving free electricity to Israel Electric Company workers. How stupid can they be for giving out free electricity that the PA obviously has to pay for?!?!?!? You think $100 million is a lot? It's peanuts! The IEC has rolled up something like a $20 billion debt that may crush both Israel and the PA one day.

6 ) johnny benson / usa
31/12/2012 00:21
it seems that the whole world is on some kind of mooch....lets everybody start working ..not fighting...then maybe the world wont go broke

7 ) Arnold / Canada
31/12/2012 00:52
Occupation or not bills are required to be paid.

8 ) Tibi / Tubas
01/01/2013 18:43
This deal is just a temporary, and bad "fix", since after generations the REFUGEES in the camp are never goning "home" to places in Israel, so they ARE HOME, and they must start paying your bills, like the rest !!
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