July 13, 2024
Palestinians Steal Electricity, Then Blame Israel
The Palestinians themselves admit that rampant theft of electricity and the widespread failure of Palestinians to pay their electric bills are the main reason behind the crisis of power cuts to some Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank. Pictured: A web of illegal electrical connections surrounds the Municipal Inspector's office in Hebron.
The Palestinians themselves admit that rampant theft of electricity and the widespread failure of Palestinians to pay their electric bills are the main reason behind the crisis of power cuts to some Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank. Pictured: A web of illegal electrical connections surrounds the Municipal Inspector’s office in Hebron.

For a long time now, many Palestinians have refused to pay their bills to the Arab-owned Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDEC).

Many other Palestinians, taking a more direct line of theft, have been stealing electrical power from their company, a crime punishable by fines and/or incarceration in any country that respects law and order. The thieves do so by directly hooking to the power line (“cable hooking”) or tampering with electric meters.

The JDEC purchases electricity from the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), the largest supplier of electrical power in Israel. However, because of the electricity theft and widespread non-payment of electrical bills, the JDEC has not been able to pay its debts to the Israeli supplier, IEC.

On September 22, the IEC announced that it has begun cutting power supply to some Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank to put pressure on the Palestinians to pay their debt of 1.7 billion shekels (about $483 million). The IEC has been trying for years to collect the debt, which over the years has continued to grow. While there has been sporadic payment of some of this debt, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has not forwarded any money to the Israeli company since January 2019, when Israel cut by about half the money it transfers to the Palestinians because of the salaries the PA pays to families of terrorists.

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