Roni Schutzer/Flash 90 (Photo: Roni Schutzer/Flash 90)
Electricity line

The Israel Electric Corporation warned that electricity could be shut off in PA-run towns if a 1.7 billion shekel debt is not paid.

Eli Glickman–CEO of Israel Electric Corp.  Photo: FLASH90

Eli Glickman, –CEO, Israel Electric Corp. (Photo: FLASH90)

Eli Glickman, CEO of the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), issued a letter on Sunday to Israel’s security chiefs warning that the electric supply could be cut in territories receiving service through the PA and the Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JEDC).

JEDC purchases electricity from the IEC and then sells it to Palestinian communities in Judea and Samaria.

The warning was sent due to concern that limiting service could result in responses by the Palestinian population threatening Israel’s security. The letter was addressed to National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen; Shin Bet Chief Yoram Cohen; Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories; Maj.-Gen. Yoav Har-Even, head of the Operations Directorate of the IDF, and Police Commissioner Maj.-Gen. Yohanan Danino.

Action is being taken, according to the letter, because the PA and JEDCO currently owe IEC 1.7 billion shekels collectively, and the Israeli company has run out of options for collecting the debt.

No Payment, No Service

In the private sector, when a business or household owes money to the electric company, the electricity supply is cut off until the bill is paid.

In the public sector, and specifically in the case of PA-controlled communities, the situation is different and debts of very high amounts can accrue. In the case of the debt owed by the PA and JEDCO, the large debt of 1.7 billion shekels is threatening the financial stability of the IEC.

According to a report by Ynet news, the IEC etter explains:

“The debt imposes a heavy burden on the company’s cash flow. In light of the aforementioned facts, the Electric Corporation, with me as its chief, worked and will work as much as it can to collect the debt under discussion in order to preserve its financial stability.

“We therefore have no other choice, and the Electric Corporation, as a supplier of an essential service that is committed to all its customers, is obligated to begin working in the coming days to collect with the following methods: 1. limiting the power supply; 2. not connecting new customers in areas the of the JDECO and the PA.”

In the letter, the IEC states that unless the government steps in and finds a solution, the company will be forced to attempt to collect the debt in the manner described.

By: Penina Taylor, United with Israel

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