The director of the Israel Electricity Corporation threatened on Tuesday to cut off the electricity supply to parts of the occupied West Bank due to unpaid debts accumulated by the Palestinian Authority, Quds Press has reported. Yiftah Ron-Tal said that there are ongoing negotiations with the PA for payment of the debts worth $270 million. He pointed out that the PA had paid NIS600 million ($160m), but the debts are growing and the situation has “become unbearable.”
“We achieved good results through the ongoing negotiations, but no sums have been paid yet and this is unacceptable,” he explained. The official said that if the current negotiations come to a dead end, the company will start reducing electricity supplies for the PA.
In September last year, Israel and the PA signed an agreement regarding the outstanding debts. The Israeli Finance Minister, Moshe Kahlon, and Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh witnessed the agreement. It stipulated that the PA itself would have to collect electricity charges from the consumers instead of the municipalities and then pay the collected money to Israel.
The electricity corporation has already reduced supplies to several areas across the occupied West Bank.