Israel and PA sign outline agreement resolving massive Palestinian electric debt

After years of conflict and threats, an agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resolve the Palestinians’ massive debt to the Israel Electric Company and rehabilitate the Palestinian electricity sector.
The signing of the outline agreement, today Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

The Israeli Finance Minister, Director General of the Finance Ministry, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs signed an outline agreement today (Tuesday) in order to resolve the long-standing dispute over the Palestinians’ enormous debts to the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) and to regulate the electricity sector under the Palestinian Authority (PA).

According to the agreement, a new institution will be established under the PA that will be in charge of managing the Palestinian electricity sector with regards to both commercial and operational aspects. In order to erase the debt, which has reached 2 billion shekels over the years, the PA will pay 570 million shekels to the IEC immediately and the rest of the debt will be spread over 48 installments. Meanwhile, Israel will erase any interests and extra fees that have accumulated over the years.

“The agreements that we have reached provide assurance to the Israel Electric Corporation and to the citizens of Israel that the Palestinian Authority’s past debts will be resolved and promises were made regarding future payments,” stated Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. “This agreement will spare us many future conflicts. It is a first step on a long road and dedication and determination are demanded of both sides in order to complete the implementation of the outline agreement.”

“The agreement ensures regular and continuous power supply to the Palestinian Authority as well as economic development,” Kahlon continued. “Whoever thinks that a breakthrough can be made between the sides without conducting direct negotiations with no preconditions is acting against the best interest of his own people. If we do not rise up to the historic problem between us and the Palestinians, our children will inherit a crisis that will be much harder to solve.”

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