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PA cancels electricity debts for every West Bank resident
Published Wednesday 02/01/2013 (updated) 11/01/2013 11:10
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Palestinians in Nablus gathered on Tuesday to protest the exclusion of
non-refugees from the debt amnesty. (MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Authority announced on Wednesday that it is cancelling outstanding electricity debts for each West Bank resident, on the heels of a deal that aims to help assuage the electricity companies' own arrears.

Government spokeswoman Nour Oudeh told Ma’an that all residential bills owed until Dec. 31, 2012 will be canceled. Businesses and people facing investigation for electricity theft will not be included in the deal.

The decision aims to open a new chapter of 100 percent enforcement of payment of electricity bills, she said.

On Sunday, PA premier Salam Fayyad signed a deal with popular committees in West Bank refugee camps ending refugees' exemption from electricity costs, but also canceling all their outstanding debt.

Palestinians in Nablus gathered on Tuesday to protest the exclusion of non-refugees from the debt amnesty, leading to violent clashes with Palestinian security forces.

Palestinian power companies said the gap in payments from refugees was a main reason for their accumulating debts. Other enforcement issues were all hampering bill collection, they said, calling for stronger penalties for debtors.

In the summer, Palestinian officials said Israel was threatening to cut off power over the unpaid debts, which total around $100 million after December's tax seizure by Israel, which was transferred to the Israeli electricity supplier.
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1 ) Outlier / USA
02/01/2013 21:37
Thus penalizing those honest folks who paid their bills. Nice.

2 ) EE / UK
02/01/2013 22:01
Now residents who paid their electricity bills should start protests. Because they are the main losers - they were paying bills while smart people were not and saved money.

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
02/01/2013 23:46
Sounds like the Likud of old in the 1980s when they drove inflation in Israel to 600 percent. My wife likes to do that too. When you can't pay some bills, just don't pay any of them. And make sure you use the money to buy things above your limit instead of paying off any other debts too. Don't worry. The foreign donors have always bailed the PA out. Until they go broke too, of course.... THEN the PA is really gonna have to do some work!

4 ) john / Ireland
02/01/2013 23:58
If refugees have had exemption from electricity costs , how could they have an outstanding debt ? Fayyad should resign !

5 ) Esam / Venezuela
03/01/2013 03:27
I come from a Palestinian family who owns land in a small village in the "West Bank" but Israel won't allow me to go live and work on our land. Israel will only let me in as a "tourist"! Israel's supporters in the US are big on "private property", "taxation with representation", "pursuit of happiness" and all that good stuff, but for some reason they hate Palestinians who want those same things and who want to help themselves Palestinian haters need to allow us to be w/o political obstacles.

6 ) @ Brian-3 & Esam-5 / USA
03/01/2013 15:00
3- Obviously by THE "PA cancelling electricity debts for every West Bank resident", it IS GIVING AWAY MONEY THAT IT DOES NOT EVEN HAVE,
but remember that the PA uses Shekels, so if there's inflation ...., and

5- Since you are NOT A CITIZEN of Israel, you must enter as a tourist,
just like every other country in the world, and if you over-stay your visa,
you will NOT be given another visa, again like every other country in the world,
which is NOT "hate of Palestinians" !!

7 ) Robby / USA
03/01/2013 17:58
4 ) john / Ireland - Shouldn't the question be "why do refugess have an exemption from electricity costs"?

8 ) LW / USA
03/01/2013 20:00
Is this Israeli supplied electricity? Palestinians should boycott this energy, and use no Zionist electricity. Problem solved. Go solar.

9 ) Around / World
03/01/2013 22:37
EE #2 - you are wrong: this is a win-win situation. There are no losers, only winners - because no one paid their electricity bills. This is a palestinian society of winners.

10 ) carine / UK
05/01/2013 06:24
#8 - "Go solar" - some have, but guess what, IOF soldiers have come along and destroyed the solar panels. So the Palestinians can't win, no matter what they do. You would know this if you read other than Jpost and Fox news.

11 ) @ LW-8 / USA
05/01/2013 22:34
You are right, that "Palestinians should boycott - Zionist electricity", - all import/export needs which involves Zionist tax collection, and - Zionist provided water too, even if it means living a life style of 1,000 yeras ago or dying of thirst !!!! every

12 ) Hashem / Palestine
08/01/2013 20:42
For those foreigners who are talking about how we Palestinians should deal with this, I want to explain a very important point. The Israeli Government "stole" the taxes money from the PA and payed it to the Israeli electricity company to cover the PA's debts. Now, since the Palestinians pay the taxes, and they were payed to cover the Palestinians' debts, khalas, we PAYED them not the "donors. We deserve to have the debts removed because we payed them from our taxes.
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