The topic of Israel’s withholding of tax revenue transfers to the Palestinian Authority has cropped up time and time again in the BBC’s Middle East coverage over the years. However, the BBC has repeatedly failed to adequately inform audiences of the relevant context of the PA’s massive debt to the Israel Electric Corporation and the reasons why that debt has accumulated.
Last week an agreement was reached in an effort to try to solve the perennial problem of that PA debt to the IEC.
“Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement on Tuesday to resolve the Palestinians’ outstanding debt of almost NIS 2 billion ($530 million) to the Israel Electric Corporation.
Under the agreement, the PA will pay Israel NIS 570 million ($132 million), putting an end to the 10-year debt crisis. The balance of NIS 1.5 billion ($397 million) will be paid in 48 installments, according to AFP, which added that a portion of the debt — likely interest accrued over the years — is expected to be waived. […]
A joint Israeli-Palestinian committee will be formed to oversee the transfer of responsibility to the PA of power lines that supply electricity to Palestinian cities in the West Bank.”
The same week also saw an additional development in the energy sector.
“Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed to move ahead with plans to build a gas pipeline to Gaza in an effort to boost energy and water supplies to the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave. […]
A source in the PA told The Times of Israel that Palestinian officials were told the Israeli political echelon gave the go-ahead Tuesday. Israel and the Palestinians are set to jointly request funding for the pipeline from a number of donor countries. A committee comprised of representatives of such donor states is set to meet in New York later this month. […]
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the Netherlands will help Israel build the Israel-Gaza pipeline.
“We want to help the population of Gaza and the first step is to improve the supply of energy and water… including laying a gas pipeline,” Netanyahu said during a two-day visit to The Netherlands at the beginning of this month.”
Given that the topic of the chronic electricity crisis is a regular feature in BBC reporting from the Gaza Strip (and frequently inaccurately attributed to Israel), one might have expected the corporation to report this news. However, neither of those examples of cooperation between Israel and the PA has received any BBC coverage.