Palestinian PM Hamdallah and Israeli Energy Min. Steinitz (both center) cut the ribbon at Monday’s ceremony (Photo: Yossi Weiss)

State-owned Israel Electric Corporation and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement on Monday to boost Israeli electrical supply to the West Bank, even as Gaza endures daily blackouts in a Palestinian political dispute. Under the deal, a new electrical substation was inaugurated near the West Bank city of Jenin.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Israeli Energy Ministry Yuval Steinitz cut the red ribbon in a show of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, three years after peace talks collapsed.

The facility will transmit 60 megawatts of electricity purchased from the Israel Electric Corp (IEC), officials said.

The West Bank is dependent on Israeli electricity and the internationally-funded substation is one of four that will be operated in the area by a Palestinian Authority-owned transmission company.

Three more power stations are being built in Ramallah, Nablus and Tarqumiyah.

“This is a historic and encouraging moment,” said Minister Steinitz at the power station’s inauguration ceremony. “When you act together, great things can be achieved.”

He added that “Israel is interested in improving the Palestinian economy, and here we have a project that is beneficial for both parties. It will provide Palestinians with greater electricity at a more consistent rate, and it’s good for Israel because it guarantees through guarantees that the additional electricity to the Palestinians will not fall on the electrical company’s shoulders. I hope this project will be used as a model for future projects.”

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SOURCE: Ynet News, Reuters

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