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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘electric debt’

Israelis May Off PA Debts by Paying More for Electricity

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Following Washington and Jerusalem’s decisions to fork over more money to the debt-ridden Palestinian Authority without requiring it to pay off its debts to Israel for electricity, the Israel Electric Corp, is considering raising electricity rates for Israelis to cover Ramallah’s debt.

Israel supplies almost all of the electricity for Jews and Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian Authority and the Jerusalem District Electricity Company are responsible for collecting money from Arabs and paying Israel.

After PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas again violated the Oslo Accords last November, this time by going to the United Nations General Assembly for a resolution recognizing the Palestinian Authority on its own terms, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz triumphantly stopped the monthly transfer of tax money Israel collects for the PA and handed over the cash to the Israel Electric Corp. to pay off most, but not all, of the constantly growing debt of the Palestinian Authority for electricity.

That was before President Barack Obama visited Israel and softened up Prime Minister Netanyahu to make another one of countless “goodwill” gestures to Abbas and release monthly tax revenues.

Of course, Abbas has other sources to pay off the debt for electricity, such as the American taxpayer.

But the Obama administration, Washington’s version of Chelm, thinks that American money should be used to help Abbas to bloat his debt instead of paying it off.

After the president’s return to the United States, he came up with his own goodwill measure, and with the kind support of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the United States freed up $200 million for direct financial support for the Palestinian Authority budget, no strings attached.

Following Israel’s Cabinet decision to free the tax revenues, Israeli Electricity Corp., sources told Israel’s Globes business newspaper that the company now has less of a chance to collect money from the Palestinian Authority. “If there is no alternative, the utility will have to record the debt in its books as lost debt and ask the Public Utilities Authority to recognize it as an expense to be covered by electricity tariffs,” according to the newspaper’s website.

Rates will have to be increased approximately 3 percent for one year to cover the debt, but that is only for electricity and does not cover other PA debts.

Three percent would not be so bad by itself, but it would come on top of a 6.5 percent hike that was approved only two weeks ago.

State Dept. Denying Hamas Back Channel, Working to Unfreeze US, Israeli Funds for Palestinians

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

At Wednesday’s press briefing, DOS Spokesperson Victoria Nuland unexpectedly declared—not in response to a reporter’s question, and in the middle of an only loosely-related topic, that the U.S. is not seeking diplomatic contact with the Hamas government in Gaza.

Nuland told the room, seemingly out of the blue: “… Let me just say one other thing which has to do with Hamas.

“There have been some bizarre claims out there that Hamas has a back channel to the U.S. Government or that the U.S. Government is dealing with ex-officials to have some kind of a back channel to Hamas. I want to say here that these assertions are completely untrue. There is no such back channel. And our position on Hamas has not changed. And recent remarks by Hamas leaders during Khaled Meshaal’s visit to Gaza reinforce the fact that Hamas is not a partner for peace. And unless Hamas unambiguously accepts the Quartet principles for peace, it cannot be a partner in any negotiations.” As you may recall, the U.S. Congress last month froze $200 million in development aid to the Palestinian Authority, in response to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s successful move to upgrade his organization’s status at the UN.

At the daily press briefing on Wednesday, a reporter asked Spokesperson Nuland: “Victoria, what about the money that is being withheld? The Palestinian sources … say that they are on the verge of collapse and total bankruptcy. Have you done anything to … persuade Congress to release the money?”

NULAND: Well, we’re continuing to work with Congress, we’re continuing to make our views known about this, that we think this money is important. We think it supports important work by the Palestinian Authority and to support the needs of the Palestinian people and it should move.

QUESTION: Are you also urging Israel not to hold up their tax revenue?

Israel’s finance minister, who declared the suspension of tax payment transfers, explained at the time that this was done because the PA hadn’t been paying its electric bill, and owes $800 to the Israeli electric company.

According to Wednesday’s Jordan Times, at the recent Arab foreign ministers’ meeting in Doha, Qatar, Arab states agreed to come to the rescue of the Palestinian Authority by pledging a $100 million monthly payment.

That should cover the electric bill…

NULAND: We are making clear to the Government of Israel that we think funding of the Palestinian Authority is necessary, and that it should work with the PA to address the issues that they have, and that all sides need to take steps to reduce tensions, to build trust, to produce the kind of climate that’s going to get us back to direct talks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/state-dept-denying-hamas-back-channel-working-to-unfreeze-us-israeli-funds-for-palestinians/2012/12/13/

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