web analytics
July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Israel Electric Corp. Threatens to Cut the Lights to PA

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Israel is threatening to turn off the lights to the Palestinian Authority – at least temporarily – because the entity owes more than a billion shekels to the Israel Electric Corporation.

The question is whether the PA even intends to pay up, given its new deal to form a unity government with a terrorist organization dedicated to the total destruction of Israel.

The debt has reached 1.5 billion, to be exact. It grows by another NIS 80 million a month. Of that, NIS 566 million is a direct debt of the Palestinian Authority. NIS 966 is owed by the Jerusalem District Electricity Company, which serves eastern Jerusalem.

It’s not clear whether the PA pays anything at all to reduce the debt although IEC auditor Brightman Almagor told the Globes business news service there does not appear to be any risk the debt will not be paid. However, IEC also readily admits there is no real way to force the PA to pay its bill.

Recently Israel has begun to take action on its own in the form of sanctions. The state now funnels some payments to the IEC from tax monies collected on behalf of the PA that normally would have been transferred to the entity instead.

According to Globes, IEC chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal wrote last week to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, informing him, “We have no choice but to take legal action against the state, against the Palestinian Authority, and Jerusalem District Electricity Company Ltd. At the same time, we intend to restrict the supply of electricity.”

The problem is, legal experts have told the Knesset that cutting electricity to the PA could be considered a “war crime” in the international arena — complicating things even more.

Israel Discriminates ‘against’ PA by Charging Less for Electricity

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority debt to the Israel Electric Corp (IEC) stands at $400 million and the quasi government company’s chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal told the Knesset Finance Committee Tuesday, “If we were a private company, we would have stopped supplying electricity to the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip long ago.”

The PA debt for electricity is an old story, but the difference now is that Israel no longer is talking common sense – and cents – probably as another show of weakness  in the lose-lose game of “don’t blame me for the failure of John Kerry’s Frankensteinian peace.”

In the past, when the Electric Corp. said it had enough of financing the Palestinian Authority by giving it electricity without payment, the Israeli government would stop sending to Ramallah monthly payments of taxes the government pays for the PA on goods from Israel.

The usual tactic has been discarded since Kerry came to town.

In December, the Israel Electric Corp. said the debt had climbed to more than $300 million and would continue to rise. Right they were.

Most of the debt is owed by none other than something called the Jerusalem District Electricity Company, a private Arab distributor of electricity that it receives from the IEC and then supplies to Arab parts of Jerusalem the Palestinian Authority want as part of the new country Kerry is trying to help them create.

The IEC said in December that the Palestinian Authority was beginning to pay back the debt bit by bit, but not even enough keep the debt from increasing.

The IEC has given the Palestinian Authority the option of paying back the money or getting slapped with an increase in the price of electricity, which is a bit silly since that simply would raise the debt.

More interesting is that Arabs in the Palestinian Authority pay less than Israelis for power, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency. Perhaps that is the criminal discrimination to which Richard Falk, the United Naitons’ chief anti-Israel official, was referring to on Monday when he issued his last – thank God – report as chairman of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

IEC chairman Ron-Tal told the Knesset Finance Committee Tuesday, “If an ordinary person does not pay his electricity bill, we disconnect him within a week. Here, despite the huge debt to the company, we are forced to continuing supplying electricity to the Palestinian Authority. Our owners are the government, and it has to make a decision on this matter. This debt must be collected.”

Weekend Snow Update: Jerusalem Lock-down, Blackouts, and Lots of Snow (+ Photos)

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Jerusalem spent Shabbat in lock-down as the largest snow storm in decades, and perhaps 50 years, hit the country. The main highways to Jerusalem were closed. Thousands of people found themselves stranded on the highway.

Some 35,000 households, including 13,000 in  Jerusalem, as well as 2400 in Tzfat didn’t have electricity for at least part of Shabbat. Gush Etzion, where at least 2 (possibly 3) feet of snow fell,  was without electricity for significant parts of the day, as well as parts of the days before.

The army was called in to assist in helping restore electricity to parts of Jerusalem.

In the Binyamin region, many homes were without electricity and water throughout much of the night. Some of the Settlements found themselves cut off without electricity for 3 days, since the beginning of the storm.

On Saturday night, the main highway into Jerusalem is slowly being reopened to public transportation, and some buses are expected to begin running soon.

The Jerusalem Light Rail is shut down due to damage to the rails from the snow storm, and may reopen on Sunday.

Temperatures are expected to drop tonight to below freezing, increasing the risk of icy roads.

On the positive side, children were having a great time in the massive snow storm.

SNOW IN JERUSALEM

 

SNOW IN JERUSALEM

 

.

 

.

Palestinian Authority Owes Israel Electric $350 Million

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority continues to operate on the back of Israeli consumers, whose rates for electricity constantly rise while PA Arabs simply don’t pay to the extent that their debt to the Israel Electric Corp. now stands at $750 million.

In the past, Israel simply used Value Added Tax revenues, collected for the Palestinian Authority, to pay off the debt.

That no longer is feasible diplomatically because it would punch another hole in the Obama administration’s cherished peace talks.

Globes business newspaper noted that the Palestinian Authority could reach energy self-sufficiency if it were to take advantage of off-shore natural gas fields, which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ha offered to help develop for the regime.

“Information indirectly obtained by the media indicate that the Palestinians are largely responsible for the problem,” the left-leaning Globes wrote this week. “Their conduct, according to this partial information, has been amateurish, if not actually childish, and is mostly defamatory and slanderous.

Greenpeace Infiltration May Have Prevented Terrorist Attack

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Israel can thank Greenpeace activists for unintentionally alerting the country to a security lapse that terrorists could exploit to throw Israel into a blackout by blowing up the site, causing mass casualties and shutting down the electricity grid

Six Greenpeace activists managed to infiltrate Noble Energy’s off-shore gas terminal in the port of Ashdod Monday morning, and the pro-environment group said two of its members roamed freely within the sensitive site for an hour and a half.

They entered the 25-acre site by climbing ladders to bridge the fence around the terminal, setting off the warning system. Globes reported that the activists could have caused a shut-down of electricity to a large area of the country if they had done extensive damage.

The infiltrators were demonstrating their support for energy and opposition to Israel’s reliance on natural gas from the giant offshore energy fields discovered in the past three years off the Mediterranean Coast. Israel now produces more than half of the country’s electricity with natural gas.

Police arrested and then released all six activists, who were dressed up as the sun to show their support for solar energy.

But what if terrorists and not environmentalists had scaled the fence around the terminal?

It would have taken only a small amount of explosives to blow to smithereens the only network that carries gas to the terminal.

Anyone in the area probably would have gone up in smoke during an explosion, which would have severely crippled Israel’s dream of energy independence. Damage to the site would have forced a shut down to electricity in a large part of the country, causing financial and social chaos.

Nobel put on the stiff upper lip after the infiltration and stated, “The Greenpeace activists were handed over to the police. The matter is being investigated with the appropriate parties.”

Gaza Terrorists Trying to Destroy Power Plant That Supplies Them

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Turns out that GRAD rocket about which we reported this past Tuesday morning was intended to hit the Israel Electric Corp.’s power plant in Ashkelon on Israel’s southern coast. And as happens frequently there are competing claims of ‘credit’ for the failed attack:

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade initially claimed responsibility for firing the rocket, saying it was retaliation for Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat’s death in an Israeli prison on Saturday. The terrorist group, associated with Fatah, had published a leaflet on Monday urging a harsh response against Israel for Jaradat’s death. On Thursday, though, Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack — a claim Israeli officials said was more credible. [IDF Chief of Staff Benny] Gantz, speaking Thursday with high school students in Rosh Haayin, said that Israel knew who was behind the shooting. He added that the IDF was working tirelessly to prevent further such attacks. “More information about our deterrence methods exists, but cannot be revealed,” he said. He said there was a possibility of more clashes with Gaza in the future, but rejected suggestions that Israel was facing a third Intifada. “I do not think we see such a thing unfolding before our eyes,” he said, referring to the recent upsurge of violence in the West Bank. “But the conflict level may rise, so we are prepared and we are convinced that we will know how to contain such events properly.” [Source: Times of Israel]

November 2012 report said Israel was supplying 125 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip from that same power station in Ashkelon, the one that has come under repeated rocket fire over the past six years. There is a power shortfall in Gaza, chiefly because the Hamas regime which rules Gaza has, as a matter of deliberate and very cynical policy, refused to allow the import of fuel from Israel, resulting in its one and only power station operating at 20% capacity.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Behind Salam Fayyad’s Call for ‘Economic Intifada’

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, this week called for an economic Intifada against Israel.

See related Cartoon

Fayyad, whose government is facing a severe financial crisis, wants Palestinians to boycott all Israeli goods in response to Israel’s decision to seize tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian Authority.

The revenues were seized and transferred to the Israel Electric Company to cover Palestinians’ debts to the firm.

Fayyad is angry because the Israel Electric Company finally collected its debts from Palestinian consumers. Speaking to Palestinian reporters in Ramallah, he denounced the transfer of the funds to the company as “illegal and immoral.”

Fayyad knows better than anyone else that, for various reasons, many Palestinians have not been paying their electricity bills.

Many Palestinians refuse to pay water, electricity and other bills because they believe the international community, primarily the Americans and Europeans, should be covering all their expenses. Others refuse to pay because they believe the money eventually falls into the hands of corrupt Palestinian Authority officials.

Earlier this year, the Palestinian Authority announced a series of measures to persuade Palestinian consumers to pay their electricity bills, but to no avail. The Palestinian Authority even announced a new law that allows it to imprison any Palestinian who is caught practicing the widespread phenomenon of “electricity theft.”

Because of the financial crisis, Fayyad’s government has also failed to pay full salaries to its employees, sparking a two-day general strike of the public sector in the West Bank.

The transfer of funds to the Israel Electric Company, and the Arab world’s failure to fulfill promises to support the Palestinian Authority financially, have created a severe financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority.

This is not the first time that Arab countries lie to Palestinians. Over the past two decades, Arab nations have promised the Palestinians billions of dollars in aid. But, according to officials in Ramallah, the Palestinians have received less than 10% of what they had been promised.

Instead of seeking ways to solve the crisis, however, Fayyad chose to call on Palestinians to boycott all Israeli goods. How does that help solve the financial crisis? Fayyad did not have an answer. He just wants to punish Israel for collecting on the debt for the electricity bills.

He is hoping that by calling for an economic intifada, he will succeed in diverting growing anger and frustration on the Palestinian street towards the Israelis. This has always been the Palestinian Authority’s way of avoiding responsibility for anything that goes wrong — by putting all the blame on Israel.

Fayyad wants Palestinians to boycott Israel, but at the same time is unable to provide them with better alternatives. Does he really think that Palestinians will stop buying Israeli-manufactured medicine, for example?

As one Palestinian public servant asked, “How can our prime minister ask us to boycott Israeli goods when we can’t even afford to purchase Palestinian goods because he’s not paying us our salaries?”

Added another Palestinian who has been working as a school teacher for 25 years: “If Fayyad wants us to boycott Israel, why doesn’t he himself set an example? Why is he living in Jerusalem, under Israeli rule, and enjoying, together with his family, most privileges offered to Israeli citizens? Today, I’m ready to go and work in an Israeli settlement to feed my children and I don’t care whether Fayyad likes it or not.”

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/behind-salam-fayyads-call-for-economic-intifada/2012/12/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: