Israel to cut electricity supply in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho

The Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JEDCO) has confirmed today that it has received its third warning from the Israeli Electric Corporation that it will begin cutting electricity to the Palestinian West Bank cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho within the coming week.

The Chairman and CEO of the JEDCO, Hisham Al-Omari said that the Israeli electricity supplier will cut the supply to Ramallah on 22 September from 10am to midday. The power cut will affect the Palestinians living in numerous villages and towns around the main West Bank cities. On 23 September, Ramallah and Jericho and more surrounding areas will have their electricity cut between midday and 2pm.

Al-Omari apologised for the measures which are, he explained, beyond the control of his company. He pointed out that power cuts will have a serious effect on living conditions in the occupied West Bank, covering all aspects of life, including education, healthcare, telecommunications and business.

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He urged international human rights organisations to intervene immediately to put pressure on Israel to cancel its proposed measures against the Palestinian territories. At the same time, he appealed to Palestinian customers to pay their bills on time and put to an end to the theft of electricity. Israel’s imposition of power cuts will be just one aspect of its overwhelming control of the Palestinian population.

Another major resource which has faced Israeli supply restrictions is fresh water. The Gaza Strip in particular has suffered from a shortage of clean water and is reliant on supplies coming from Israel. During the many bombardments that Israel has inflicted on Gaza, the enclave’s water system and pipe network has been damaged, and the Palestinians in the territory have been banned from importing the necessary materials to effect repairs, with disastrous results for healthcare provision, in particular.

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