The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has reached a temporary resolution with senior sources in the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to which the PA will transfer 20 million shekels (over $5.2 million) on Wednesday morning to prevent a reduction in power supply.
In parallel, intensive negotiations are to be held between the IEC and the PA to reach an agreement regarding the rest of the PA's outstanding electric debt – which currently stands at the whopping sum of 1.74 billion shekels (just over $456 million).
If no agreement is reached within a week, the IEC will again start reducing the power supply to PA-controlled cities so as to reduce the existing debt.
In recent days the IEC has been holding partial power cuts to PA cities such as Jericho, Hevron and Bethlehem, as a response to how the PA and the Palestinian Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO) have refused for years to address the massive debt.
"We weren't happy about carrying out these serious steps, and I'm happy that there is a response from the Palestinian side also to transfer an immediate sum towards the debt and to reach an agreement once and for all, and to remove the burden from the shoulders of the Electric Corporation," said IEC Director Maj. Gen. (res.) Yiftah Ron-Tal.
The PA is struggling financially amid widespread corruption, and depends largely on foreign aid to prop it up. It relies heavily on Israel for electricity supplies, and Israel also provides electricity to Hamas-controlled Gaza.