Menu JTA Search

Phone Lines in Self-rule Areas May Be Tied Up if Bill Not Paid

Israel’s Bezek phone company has threatened to cut off some phone services to the Palestinian self-rule areas if a $4.6 million debt is not paid within two weeks.

A total of 125,000 people would be affected by the possible slash of services to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank Jericho enclave.

Bezek has provided international service to the autonomous zones since the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in May. The Palestine Liberation Organization provides local telephone services. A spokesman for Bezek, which is partially owned by Israel, said, “This is not a political thing. It’s a business decision.”

If international services are cut, local calls could still be made.