With coordination still suspended, Israel hands three power stations to PA


October 20, 2020
JFJFP
The West Bank substations join the Palestinians’ first one in Jenin, which the PA began running in 2017; are expected to improve power supply in region

A new West Bank power station which Israel has transferred to Palestinian control

Aaron Boxerman writes in Times of Israel, “After years of delays, Israel transferred control over three power substations to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank over the past month, the country’s military liaison to the Palestinians announced on Tuesday. Ramallah praised the new substations as a step towards solving the West Bank’s long-running electricity crisis. Almost totally dependent on Israel for electricity and possessing only a feeble grid, rolling blackouts are a familiar feature of life in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

“All three substations were built by the state-owned Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) and financed by the European Investment Bank. They join another substation in Jenin, which was officially transferred with great fanfare to PA control in 2017. According to a 2017 World Bank report, Palestinians receive around 99 percent of their power from the IEC. Jordan also provides a small amount of electricity in areas close to its border with the West Bank.”

“The new substations do not themselves generate electricity for the Palestinians. Rather, they aim to solve a separate problem: The Palestinian power grid has long lacked the infrastructure needed to efficiently bring electricity to its constituents.”…

“In a statement, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz claimed that Jewish settlements in the West Bank would also benefit from the new substations, which would ease the burden on the power grid. As the PA still does not officially coordinate with Israel, in protest of Israel’s previously declared intentions to annex parts of the West Bank (plans which are now paused), there was no grandiose joint opening of the sort the Jenin substation saw in 2017. Palestinian officials who discussed the arrangements did not mention Israel, instead preferring to articulate an appreciation for “all sides.” (more…)

 

 

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