Special to WorldTribune.com
RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority has been urged to privatize the fuel sector in the West Bank.
Fuel station owners have urged the regime of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to privatize the Petroleum Authority.
The stations owners said the move would end fuel shortages in the West Bank at the end of each month.
“The fuel shortage in the West Bank started just 18 months ago after the decision to transfer profits of the Petroleum Authority to the PA Finance Ministry of finance,” Fuel Station Owner Association director Nizar Al Jabari said.
The PA purchases most of its fuel from Israeli suppliers. But the PA
controls the fuel market in the West Bank in what has resulted in higher
prices than in the Jewish state. The West Bank requires 120 fuel stations
but so far operates 276 stations.
“The government monopolizes the fuel sector, and should keep it always
at the disposal of the citizens,” Al Jabari said.
Al Jabari said the regulation of the fuel sector has reduced profits for
gasoline station owners. He said profits dropped from 30 percent
for diesel in 1996 to four percent as the Petroleum Authority licensed
“The rest went to the Petroleum Authority,” Al Jabari said.