2017 Activities

A Demand to Publish the Palestinian-Israeli Electricity Agreement

A Demand to Publish the Palestinian-Israeli Electricity Agreement

The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity – AMAN held a meeting to discuss the agreement of electricity between the Palestinian government and the Israeli side and to demand the transparency of the agreement and the right to access information regarding this matter, and to be published in the agenda of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee’s agenda.
The PLO is the official party to sign the agreement

Dr.Azmi Shuaibi, Consultant to AMAN’s Board of Directors, emphasized that the official authority does not want to submit the agreement and to engage the Palestinian citizen in the process and the right to access information, contrary to the principle of transparency, in which the citizens are still unaware of their rights and commitments to the agreement, and how the debts of the Palestinians have been settled, describing this agreement as a “financial achievement” as it aims to reduce net lending for about one billion and 200 million NIS in the Palestinian public treasury, therefore, AMAN coalition aims to raise the voice to the PLO which is responsible for any issues related to the agreement. Moreover, Dr.Azmi pointed out that the agreement includes the transfer of powers of the administration of the connecting areas of Palestinians residing in the areas called A to the Palestinian Authority and leave area C to the Israeli side.

Dr.Azmi emphasized that the signing of such agreements with the Israeli side must be the responsibility of the PLO and not the Palestinian government, since these agreements have political dimensions to the Palestinian people, therefore, the PLO must act quickly and submit the agreement on the agenda of the Executive Committee.

A financial trade agreement that has no political dimensions

Dr.. Hassan Abu Libdeh, head of the Renewable Energy Industries Association, considered the agreement as a  trade agreement, but the mistake occurred when it was marketed as a political achievement, stressing that preventing its publication by the Palestinian government was the biggest mistake. He was endorsed by Professor Anwar Hilal, Chairman of the Palestinian Solar Energy Association. Abu Libdeh opposed the idea that the PLO should be informed that it is a non-political agreement and does not relate to the transfer of powers from the military civilian administration to the Palestinian Authority, but rather the transfer of points of linkage, stressing the danger of electricity monopoly from the national transport company. In her turn, Mrs. Natasha Karmi of the Negotiations Affairs Department agreed that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the implementation, not the PLO, according to the interim agreement that governs the relationship with the Israeli side and does not believe that it has any political dimension. For his part, Murad Harfoush recommended the Popular Struggle Front to form a political and technical committee to raise the issue of electricity to review the agreement and raise it politically and popularly.

Eng. Hussein Katana raised the issue of electricity loss, which is 28%, and that the annual invoice amount owed to the Israeli Electricity Company of Qatar amounted to 700 million US dollars, a huge amount borne by the Palestinians. In the same context, Mr. Nabhan Osman of the General Union of Palestinian Economists asked whether the Palestinian Authority's electricity debts had been audited, and why the Palestinian Ministry of Finance had not yet signed the agreement.

No agreements with Israel without political dimensions

Dr.. Najat Al-Astal, Professor Khaleda Jarrar and Professor Ayman Daraghmeh, members of the Legislative Council, pointed out that the signing of the agreements is without reference to the Legislative Council to express opinion in light of its failure, especially as the agreement affects the rights of citizens, recommending the need to present any agreements signed with the Israeli side on the parliamentary blocs in the Legislative Council. The political and financial repercussions on the citizens are not easy, and there is no agreement with Israel without political dimensions and consequences, stressing the importance of opening a community dialogue and establishing agreement on the agenda of the Executive Committee of the PLO, represented by the Ministry of Energy. Mr. Kamil Jbeil from Al-Quds newspaper agreed with them that it is impossible for the agreement to be a financial deal without a political dimension. The failure of the official bodies to publish the agreement raises doubts, wondering about the role of the PLO and its responsibilities towards the agreement.

Professor Dawood Al-Wari at Al-Quds University pointed out that the current version of the agreement legally lacks much to reach an international agreement. In such cases, the minutes of the meetings, the rights and obligations of the parties, as well as a special clause for the resolution of disputes should be documented, and the importance of providing an interpretation of the items. He also pointed to the need to pay attention to the General Electricity Act of 2009, which is considered the reference in any agreement concerning electricity.

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