The Palestinian Authority now owes the Israel Electric Corporation $400 million (1.7 billion. shekels) despite the trumpeted agreement nearly a year ago in which Israel resumed transferring tax collection revenues to the PA for the umpteenth time.
The debt-ridden regime in Ramallah supposedly would use some of the money to cut the debt for electricity, but Israel Electric CEO Ron Tal says the debt has grown to an “insane” amount.
He wants to start cutting the power to the Palestinian Authority, but that is unlikely to happen because the world would start screaming, “War Crime! War Crime.”
In the United States, and elsewhere, if someone does not pay for water or electricity, the municipality or utility company pulls the plug, without being charged with a war crime.
But there is hope, sort of.
The World Bank has announced it is transferring another $25 million to the Palestinian Authority from its “Palestinian Reform and Development Plan Trust Fund” that the Bank manages to support the PA budget.
The World Bank stated:
The funds contributed by the governments of Norway and the United Kingdom will help support the urgent budget needs of the Palestinian Authority (PA), providing inter alia support for ongoing macroeconomic and public financial management reforms.
Since the fund was established in 2008, the World Bank has turned over to the Palestinian Authority a staggering $1.38 billion.
The World Bank statement did not mention anything about what reforms, if any, the Palestinian Authority has carried out, and instead it said the PA economy is suffering from a lack of foreign aid.
Off to the rescue is Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who will travel to New York this month for one of the Palestinian Authority’s favorite events, a donor’s meeting at which countries pledged billions of dollars for Ramallah.
Most of the pledges, especially from Arab countries, remain as pledges, just as the debt to the Israel Electric Corp. remains a debt.