Middle East

Israel threatens to impose six-hour long power cuts across West Bank

Palestinians are preparing for Israel to cut the electricity supply across several parts of the occupied West Bank, in response to the Palestinian run Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO)’s debts, reported Wafa News Agency.

The Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) has threatened JDECO with six-hour long power cuts, six times a month, as a result of the debt not being paid.

The Director General of (JDECO), Hisham Al-Omari, said yesterday that his company received a second warning from the IEC, threatening to cut down supply to JEDCO.

He confirmed that Palestinians living in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho districts will face power cuts for six hours a day, starting at 9:00 am, repeatedly for six times a month.

Al-Omari condemned the Israeli company for harming the well-being of Palestinian citizens, including the health, education and economic sectors in order to pressure JEDCO to pay its debts.

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Meanwhile, the company is in contact with various parties to prevent the power cuts, he added.

This is not the first time the electricity supply has been cut to the occupied West Bank. In December 2019, the IEC put in place daily power cuts which lasted three hours, disrupting the supply to a number of Palestinian cities.

The cuts were to press for payment for what it said to be $519 million owed by the Palestinian electricity company, according to Reuters.

The cuts lasted a little over a month, until the Palestinian run Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), which buys electricity from the IEC and then sells it to customers in the West Bank, signed a loan agreement with several Palestinian banks in order to pay off the debt it owed.

Palestinians in the West Bank rely on IEC for over 95 per cent of their electricity supply.

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