Israel begins cutting Palestinian electricity, citing debts



JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's national electric company says it has begun reducing power supplies to Palestinian areas of the occupied West Bank due to a financial dispute.

The Israel Electric Co. said Sunday that it took the step because the Jerusalem District Electricity Co., the Palestinians' main power distributor, has debts of roughly $485 million.

Ali Hamodeh, an official with the Palestinian distributor, says power is expected to be cut for two hours daily in several Palestinian towns in the coming weeks.

He accused Israel of "exaggerating" the level of debt and called the power cuts a "political exploit."

The Palestinians rely on Israel for nearly all of their electricity.

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