In a first, Israel transfers authority for West Bank Electrical Substation to Palestinians

Jul 11, 2017 17:17 IST

Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of Palestinian, and Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Energy Minister, on 10 July 2017 launched the first power plant in the West Bank that transforms high to medium voltage in Jenin, north of the West Bank.

It is the first time that Israel has given the ownership of electricity infrastructure to the Palestinian Authority.

The official ceremony included signing a commercial agreement between Israeli Electric Corporation (IEC) and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to increase power supply through operating a new substation in the north of West Bank.

As per the agreement, the Palestinian National Authority will pay around USD 47 million to the Israeli Electric Corporation annually, in order to increase the supply of the new power plant by 60 Megawatts in full operation.

In a first, Israel transfers authority for West Bank Electrical Substation to Palestinians

About West Bank

The West Bank is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, forming the bulk of territory now under Israeli control, or else under joint Israeli-Palestinian Authority control.

The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5640 kilometres per square plus a water area of 220 kilometres per square, consisting of the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea.

As of July 2015, the area has an estimated population of 2785366 Palestinians, and approximately 371000 Israeli settlers, and approximately another 212000 Jewish Israelis in East Jerusalem.

The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Background

Palestinians in the West Bank suffer from a deficit in electric supply as they cannot make use of natural resources in areas under full Israeli control, which comprise 62% of the West Bank, according to the Oslo Accords signed between Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel in 1993.

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