In late May and early April the IEC began to scale back the electricity flow to Palestinian cities. They cut the power supply to Jericho and Bethlehem and threatened to do the same in other West Bank cities. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas in the Gaza Strip relies heavily on Israel for its power.
The Palestinians petitioned the Supreme Court against the cutbacks, and the court instructed the IEC to temporarily halt the cuts pending a response from the government. The state responded that although it has the authority to instruct the Israel Electric Corporation to continue supplying Palestinian cities for foreign and defense reasons, it would no longer exercise that right.
Israel in the past forced the IEC to continue to provide electricity out of concern for the Palestinian population, but the electric corporation said earlier this year it could no longer absorb the debt.
The IEC also cuts power to Israeli homes over unpaid debts.