The Palestinian Authority is once again angry with Israel, only not for political reasons this time, but rather for economic ones.
The PA’s electric company announced Tuesday that electricity rates would go up by 7%, following the 12% increase in electricity rates in Israel.
The Chairman of the Palestine Electric Company, Omar Katana, placed the blame on Israel, from which the PA acquires 95% of the electricity in Judea and Samaria and 75% of the electricity in Gaza.
“Israel’s increase in electricity prices is due to the cessation of the supply of gas from Egypt and its use of expensive diesel fuel,” Katana explained. “The increase in the electric bills in the PA is due to the increase in the prices in Israel.”
The statement comes several days after the PA’s Accountant General said that the PA is still suffering from economic troubles because it urgently needs $300 million promised by Saudi Arabia and has so far only received a total of $30 million.
Hassan Abu-Libdeh, the Palestinian Authority’s Economics Minister, said last week that the PA government will meet soon to discuss steps to solve its economic crisis.
The PA had paid its workers just half their normal salaries for the month of June, causing the Government Workers Union in the PA to accuse PA of fabricating an economic crisis and to threaten a general strike.
The PA’s Prime Minister Salam Fayyad dismissed the accusations, warning that “the payment of full salaries will significantly reduce the ability of the PA to meet other needs during the next month.”
Much like the Accountant General, Fayyad blamed the PA's financial woes on donor nations, claiming several Arab nations have promised aid but failed to deliver, leaving the PA facing a deficit of more than $500 million for 2011.
For a complete analysis of the "future state's" economic situation, click here.