Photo: Reuters
Electric company engineers
Photo: Reuters

PA electric arrears hit NIS 220 million

Palestinian Authority owes Electric Company NIS 220 million in unpaid bills; Israel's national electricity company demands government action

Will the Israel Electric Corp cut off supplies to the Palestinian Authority? Israel’s leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that the Palestinian Authority’s arrears to the Electric company recently reached unprecedented heights, with a bill totaling NIS 220 million (USD 47 million).


The company turned to the Finance Ministry demanding the government deducts the debt from tax repayment to the Palestinians, as agreed upon in former talks between Israel and the Palestinian Finance Ministry.


Hamas’ legislative victory has cast a shadow over fiscal issues between the two warring neighbors, with politicians from all sides of the political spectrum calling on the government to cut monetary transfers to the Palestinian Authority.


“With any other costumer we would have switched off the switch,” a senior official in the Electric company said.


'Israel needs to find a solution'


Under agreements reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Electric company supplies electricity to Palestinian cities and the Palestinian government is responsible for collecting payments. But over the last five years of violence most Palestinians are unable to pay their electric bills and the Palestinian Authority is doing little to tackle the problem.


“The Israeli government has to find a solution to the Palestinian Authority’s debts and disallow hefty arrears,” officials in the company said.


Officials from the company have demanded the government applies Israeli laws to the Palestinian Authority, which will allow the country’s only electricity provider to cut supplies.


פרסום ראשון: 01.31.06, 09:42
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