Several hundred employees of the Jerusalem District Electricity Company have started a sit-in strike at the firm's headquarters.
GV & CU PAN Strikers outside Jerusalem District Electricity Company (2 shots)
CU INTERIOR Strikers chanting and demonstrating at company headquarters (3 shots)
CU Board Chairman Anwar Nusseibeh speaking in English
CU Energy Minister, Yitzhak Modai, speaking in English
NUSSEIBEH: "There is no justification, in fact, to the measure which was adopted by the Israeli government, and therefore we intend to resist it with all the means at our disposal within all the means at our disposal within the law. We don't propose to go beyond the law, but we are ready to use every legal means in order to resist it."
MODAI: "We took a step last week which was blown up -- almost I would say as a standard method -- and I'm referring to the notice which we gave the Jerusalem Electric Company that we intend to buy it out a year from the first of January."
Originally, the concession to supply electricity was awarded to the company by the Turks and continued both under the British mandate and Jordanian rule. The concession is said to extend for 20 miles (32 Kilometres) from the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre -- the point regarded by many medieval cartographers as the centre of the world. This includes some fifteen thousand Jewish homes and a number of Jewish settlements, as well as many Arab towns and villages.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Several hundred employees of the Jerusalem District Electricity Company have started a sit-in strike at the firm's headquarters. They're protesting against a decision by the Israeli government to buy the Arab-owned company, and already they have been joined by members of Palestinian Workers' Committees from towns throughout the occupied West Bank. The Israeli move has emerged as a serious new source of friction between Arabs and Jews. One indirect effect -- according to Palestinian officials -- will be the stiffening of Arab opposition to the autonomy plan now being discussed by Egypt and Israel.
SYNOPSIS: The striking employees claim that the Israeli decision to buy the Arab??? owned power company is illegal. Many have compared it to the Israeli occupation of land in the West Bank and other territories.
Israel's Energy Minister, Yitzhak Modai, claims the company is not operating in an "orderly fashion". But the company's chairman Anwar Nusseibeh, has denied this, and says the Israeli decision will be contested in the courts.