Israeli Electricity Company disconnects Jenin and Nablus from supply twice
The state owned Israeli Electric Company that supplies electricity to the entire West Bank has resorted to taking punative actions against the Palestinians living in Nablus and Jenin for a debt of $492 million owed by the Palestinian Authority. The electricity to the West Bank is provided via an East-Jerusalem company, JDCEO that is used as a go-between. Part of the Palestinian debt is incurred by the inability of twelve refugee camps residents to pay for their electricity, being too poor to do so.
The first power cut took place on the 23rd of February and lasted 45 minutes, and again for the same duration one on the 25th. The Palestinians of course were outraged by the cuts that happened without forewarning, trapping people within high rise buildings and leaving them without electric warming devices during the winter. The mayor of Nablus called the power cuts "collective punishment". The US State Department addressed its concern about the impact the outages will have on the services available for Palestinians. Not all Israeli officials support the IEC's decision- Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon has objected to the decision, saying that the debt issue does not justify blacking out entire cities. It has been suggested that israel can pay out the debt off the millions of dollars of tax revenue it is currently witholding.