PA cities to lose electricity for 3 hours due to debt

After talks to negotiate payment plan fail, electric company increases number of hours Palestinian Authority cities are disconnected.

Chana Roberts ,

Electric poles (illustrative)
Electric poles (illustrative)
Nati Shochat, Flash 90

Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has announced that it will disconnect power lines in the Palestinian Authority (PA) for three hours on Tuesday, due to the PA's enormous debt, Israel Hayom reported.

The debt amounts to over 1.7 billion shekels (over $429,120,750 USD), and has been accumulating over the course of several years. In May 2018, an "historic" agreement was signed under which the PA would pay its then-915 million NIS debt in 48 payments. However, the PA's debt has only grown since then.

At midnight between Monday and Tuesday, IEC will disconnect parts of the PA from electricity for three hours, instead of the two which have become standard over the past few months. In addition, IEC will add more PA cities to the list of cities disconnected for three hours a day from electricity.

A senior PA official in Ramallah told Israel Hayom that on Saturday night, a meeting was held in Jerusalem between senior IEC officials and senior PA officials in charge of electricity, in an attempt to reach an agreement on a payment plan and an end to the disconnections.

However, that meeting ended without results and the IEC therefore decided to extend the hours of disconnection to PA cities, as well as add additional power lines to the list until the debt is paid.

Israel first threatened to cut power to the PA in early 2017, but did not actually do so until the last quarter of 2019, after it said it had found "no alternative" to being paid.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority spends 8% of its budget on salaries for terrorists and their accomplices, and has promised to prioritize terror salaries above all else.