Sunday, December 02, 2012

How Gaza's Debt to Israel Electric Corporation is to be Paid

Nadene Goldfoot
The Israel Electric Corporation collected back payments from the  debtor, Gaza, by Israel deciding to suspend this month's  funds collected as tax payments they were going to turn over to Gaza, but will use the money instead to get this debt paid.  The amount suspended is $120 million dollars.  Gaza's bill had added up in the unpaid amount of $700 million dollars.

On August 14, 2012 Israel threatened power cuts since the East Jerusalem Electricity Company was past due by $175 million.  They were in the worst  financial crisis they have experienced since their inception in 1994, so Israel withholding money shouldn't be a surprise to Abbas.  .

Israel collected about $75 million per month in tariffs on foreign imports and value added taxes (VAT) on Israeli goods and services and on average kept about $15 million for the payment of water and power bills of Palestinians, while forwarding the other $60 million to the PA.  They are not going to be so generous now that Abbas went to the UN and was declared to have the same status like the Vatican as a non-member status, done defiantly since Israel and the US warned them not to take this step.  "The United States said the expansion plan, which also drew strong European criticism, was counterproductive to the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks frozen since 2010."

Usually Israel collects $100 million per month in duties on Judea-Samaria's  (West Bank) behalf.   Up to date their balance is past due by $200 million right now.  The PA authority has little money coming in other than this , which has exercised limited self-rule in the occupied Judea-Samaria West Bank, largely depends on the tax money to pay civil servants' salaries.  It should be noted that Qatar's Emir just visited Gaza and made them a huge cash gift.

 All of 3.6 million  Palestinian refugees sitting in 59 camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Judea-Samaria and Gaza are receiving funds from the UNRWA and have been since 1948, being the longest receivers of such funds in the world. They are supposed to be the people who from June 1946 to May 1948 lost their homes do to the war.  Now, 3 generations later, the number includes children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  The original number of people were 914,000  displaced in 1950 and this has multiplied to 4.6 million in 2009.   In other words, this is a welfare issue and the United States has been the largest contributer even though the Arab countries have promised to donate millions, but never come through.  The US just gave $80 million for this.  They evidently have not been allowed in infiltrate into the population of the country they reside in.

Resource: About UNRWA

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