On Wednesday, Israel announced that it will cut off electricity to large areas of the West Bank, including Ramallah, starting Wednesday, due to accumulated debts.
The official Israeli channel added that Israel will cut off the power to Ramallah, Bethlehem, and villages and towns in the vicinity of East Jerusalem until the debts owed to the Israel Electricity Company and the East Jerusalem Electricity Company, which have accumulated to half a billion shekels ($156.69 million), are settled.
Notably, Israel advanced plans for building more than 3,000 settler homes in the occupied West Bank, a move condemned by the Palestinians that came a day after the US forcefully criticized such construction.
The Civil Administration’s high planning committee gave final approval to 1,800 homes and initial endorsement for another 1,344, a spokesman for the military body that oversees civilian matters in the Palestinian territories told AFP.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in a statement voiced “strong rejection” of the approvals, and said the US needed “to implement its pledge to reject settlements and unilateral (Israeli) measures.”
About 475,000 Israeli Jews already live in settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law, on land Palestinians claim as part of their future state.