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Official: No threats from Israel to disconnect electricity
Published Tuesday 25/02/2014 (updated) 27/02/2014 16:01
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(MaanImages)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A member of the Palestinian committee for organizing electricity on Tuesday denied that the regional Israeli electricity company had threatened to disconnect electricity for the West Bank.

Mujahid Salameh told Ma’an that Israel informed the Palestinian Authority through Quartet envoy Tony Blair that it would not disconnect electricity.

He said an agreement that organizes the relationship between PA and the electricity company was proposed, and it will ensure that the Palestinian territories will be treated as a state and receive a reduced tariff.

New arrangements might take place within two months, he added.

On Friday, the Jerusalem District Electricity Company's director said it has proposed to raise the price of electricity across the West Bank after the PA failed to pay millions of shekels in debt.

Hisham al-Omari told Ma'an that the company gave the PA two options, either to pay the 400 million shekels ($110 million) of debt, or raise electricity tariffs to become equivalent to Israel.

Al-Omari said that the problem stems from the PA's failure to pay its debts to the company, causing the company to face issues with the Israeli regional electricity company.

The government is still studying the proposal, he added.

Al-Omari ruled out the possibility of disconnecting electricity to areas in the West Bank, and denied knowledge of any plans that the Israeli regional company might disconnect service to the West Bank.

He explained that there has been a decrease in the number of people paying their monthly bills on time, adding that out of a monthly total of bills amounting to 120 million shekels ($35 million), less than 70 percent are paid regularly.

The business page of Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronot reported Thursday that the director of the Israel electricity corporation, Yitfach Ron-Tal, sent a letter the Israeli government demanding it to either commit to paying the debts of the PA, or allow the company to disconnect electricity.

The letter was sent days earlier, and highlighted that debts had reached 1.3 billion shekels ($370 million), a figure which was increasing by 75 million shekels ($21 million) each month, it was reported.

In the letter, Ron-Tal provided three options available for the company: reducing electricity provided to Palestinians, filing a lawsuit in the higher Israeli court, or asking the government to approve plans to disconnect electricity to the Palestinian company beginning Feb. 23.
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
26/02/2014 00:26
Billions of dollars and Euros and Yen in charity, yet the Palestinians remain beholden to the Arab dictator oligarchs. Why was another power plant never built in Gaza? Why didn't the Qataris build a power plant on the Rafah border on the Egyptian side? Looks like the Arab League and the Arab brothers aren't that supportive of their Palestinian cousins.

2 ) Bright / Dark
26/02/2014 00:32
Time to pay your bills, pals. We understand that you are not used to paying your bills and do not like paying your bills. But free lunch is over - you pay or you sit in dark room, your choice pals. Of cause, as usually, you can complain to UN, UNESCO, ICJ, ICC, Arab League, Good Lord, Mohammed etc. about Zionists making you pay your bills. But unless you find somebody else stupid enough to keep paying for you, you will need to pay in order to use electricity. It's not easy to find stupid payers

3 ) Tibi / Tubas
26/02/2014 02:00
-1- Israel has no interest in disconnect electricity to the West Bank, but Clearly there is a real cost to producing the electricity, and Israel will certainly stop providing electricity if payment is not received, and -2- TONY BLAIR is not providing the electricity, so he CAN NEITHER "ENSURE that Palestinian territories will be treated as a state", NOR ensure it "receives a REDUCED tariffs", which must be negotiated, just like everything else between Palestinians and Israelis !!

4 ) Outlier / USA
26/02/2014 05:19
Were I the Palestinians, I would be very careful about pushing BDS, lest Israel decide to push back, beginning with electricity.

5 ) Dimi / Germany
26/02/2014 12:01
The Arabs who are swimming in money should help the Palestinians and stop blaiming Israel for everything and all.The formula is ; no money no electricity.
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