JERUSALEM, Monday, September 16, 2019 (WAFA) – Several hours of blackout are expected to disrupt life in parts of the West Bank next Monday and Tuesday as the Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) intends to cut power supply to the Palestinian-owned Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), today said JDECO chairman of board and CEO Hisham Omari.
He said his company has received the third warning from the IEC informing it that it will start rationing or cutting electricity supply to some of the company‘s concession areas on the 22nd of this month from 10 a.m. to 12 noon local time in the cities and districts of Ramallah and Bethlehem, and on the 23rd from 12 noon until 2:00 p.m. on parts of Ramallah and Jericho and their area villages.
Omari considered the IEC decision, supported by the Israeli government, as “collective punishment against the Palestinian people,” warning that if IEC goes on with its threat, it will have serious repercussions, particularly on hospitals, education, water supply, communications and many other vital areas.
JDECO buys its power supply from IEC and distribute it to hundreds of thousands of customers in its four concession areas that include East Jerusalem, Ramallah/Al-Bireh, Bethlehem and Jericho. IEC said JDECO owes it millions of dollars for purchased electricity.
Omari said the Palestinian Authority (PA) had an agreement with IEC regarding paying the debt in installments but that the Israeli company seems to have gone back on this agreement and decided to punish the Palestinian company and its customers for the outstanding debt.
He also called on the PA and its security and judicial authorities to take deterrent measures against the lagging customers who do not pay their bills and robbers who steal the current, which costs the company $45 million in lost revenues annually.