Israel, PA sign deal on massive Palestinian electricity bill

By September 16 2016, 12:14 Latest News No Comments

electricity-2Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed an agreement on Tuesday to resolve the Palestinians’ outstanding debt of almost NIS 2 billion ($530 million) to the Israel Electric Corporation.

Under the agreement, the PA will pay Israel a quarter of  the debt ($132 million), putting an end to the 10-year debt crisis. The rest of the debt will be paid in 48 installments, and according to the AFP, a portion of the debt – likely interest accrued over years – is expected to be waived.

In a statement on Facebook, COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories), the Israeli Defense Ministry body responsible for implementing government policies in the Palestinian territories, said the deal “will also assist in reforming and developing the PA’s electric and energy sector”.

A joint Israeli-Palestinian committee will be formed to oversee the transfer of responsibility to the PA of power lines that supply electricity to Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

The agreement was signed by the head of of COGAT, Maj- Gen Yoav Mordechai, Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheik, Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Israel’s Ministry of Finance Director-General Shai Babad.

This agreement is the third agreement this year resulting as a result of direct, bi-lateral discussions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

 

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