BBC fails to report PA’s cancellation of electric bills

Balata refugee camp

Just over a month ago, the BBC was quick to report the decision made by the Israeli government to confiscate tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, although it often failed to mention in its various reports that the money was to be transferred to the Israeli Electric Corporation to cover some of the massive debt run up by the PA with that company. 

Here is something else which the BBC is not reporting. The PA’s Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently signed a deal with representatives from the various refugee camps within PA-controlled territory under which the residents of those camps – often better described as neighbourhoods – will have electricity meters installed and begin to pay for the electricity they consume and in return, all outstanding debts will be cancelled. 

“On Sunday, PA premier Salam Fayyad signed a deal with popular committees in West Bank refugee camps ending refugees’ exemption from electricity costs, but also canceling all their outstanding debt.”

According to the terms of the agreement:

“The agreement was signed with the Executive Office for Popular Committees in the camps. Under the deal, the first 160 KW meters of electricity will be installed at cost price, with needy families getting their first 150 KW fully subsidized by the Ministry of Social Affairs.”

Not everyone was happy with the new deal:

“A man from Balata refugee camp in Nablus attempted to set himself on fire during a protest Monday against recently announced measures that will no longer exempt refugees from paying electricity costs.”

And other residents within the PA-controlled areas also protested:

“Palestinians in the West Bank’s different cities gathered on Tuesday to protest the exclusion of non-refugees from the debt amnesty, leading to violent clashes with Palestinian security forces.”

So what did the Palestinian Authority do? It cancelled everyone’s outstanding bills. 

PA electricity bills

One would think that licence fee-paying British taxpayers might appreciate the BBC informing them about the way in which some of their generous contributions to the Palestinian Authority are spent. 

Here, courtesy of Khaled Abu Toameh, are a few other points concerning the Palestinian Authority which the mainstream media – including the BBC – avoids reporting. 


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