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The Palestinians are dependent on Israel for electricity. The blackouts will hit the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem and certain parts of East Jerusalem.
The state-owned Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) would impose blackouts on certain areas in the West Bank next week in response to a debt of more than US$150 million owed by the Palestinian Authority to the company.
"The IEC has the right to disconnect power... a right that has been approved by the Supreme Court," IEC Vice President for Customer Service said, adding that restrictions will be carried out proportionately, in a meticulous manner with proper advance notice.
"Two weeks ago, a warning letter was sent to the Palestinian Authority stating that if it does not settle the debt... the IEC will begin scheduled blackouts of four hours at a time in the Ramallah area, Bethlehem, and villages in the Jerusalem area. The Palestinian Authority sent the IEC a list of areas with hospitals and other vital facilities where it asked not to cut off the service," local outlet Jewish Press recalled.
The Palestinians are dependent on Israel for electricity. The East Jerusalem Electricity Company buys electricity from the IEC and sells it to the Palestinian Authority. The blackouts will hit the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem and certain parts of East Jerusalem.
Israel captured the West Bank territories in the 1967 Middle East war. Most of the international community does not recognize Israeli rule in those areas which the Palestinians see as part of their future state.
As part of interim agreements signed between Israel and Palestine, Israel collects more than 150 million dollars of custom duties on goods that reach Palestinian markets through Israeli ports and crossings every month on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. However, Israel sometimes do not transfer the funds in an attempt to pressure the Palestinians.
This will not be the first time the Palestinians suffer reduced power supply from the Israelis. In 2018, the IEC and the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement over the debt that was supposed to see an end to power cuts. The Palestinian Authority often falls behind with payments.
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