West Bank threatened with power cuts over debt

AP News
Posted: Aug 15, 2012 10:57 AM
West Bank threatened with power cuts over debt

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's electric company says it's considering cutting off power to large parts of the West Bank because of unpaid bills of more than $125 milllion.

The accumulated electricity debt is another sign of the Palestinian Authority's mounting cash crunch, which it largely blames on a sharp reduction in foreign aid since 2011.

The Israeli electricity is distributed to the West Bank by the Jerusalem District Electricity Co., a private firm. In a news conference Wednesday, officials of the Jerusalem company said the Palestinian Authority and residents in 12 Palestinian refugee camps are the main debtors.

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The private company says its Israeli provider has threatened to cut off service unless the debt is paid. The Israel Electricity Company says disconnecting service is being considered, but no decision has been made.