Jordan doubles power supplies to West Bank city of Jericho

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AMMAN — Jordan said on Wednesday it had doubled the electricity supply sold to the occupied West Bank city of Jericho to 80 megawatts, helping reduce its reliance on power supplied by Israel.

They said the extra supplies came from a power station in the Jordan Valley linked to an existing Palestinian grid run by the Palestinian Authority, which runs parts of the West Bank.

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Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have sought to expand ties under interim peace accords signed with Israel in the 1990s but accuse Israel of placing impediments, charges Israel denies.

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Jordan, which ruled the West Bank and East Jerusalem before it was captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, resumed supplying power to Jericho in the Jordan Valley nearly a decade ago.

The kingdom has extensive trade and business ties with Palestinians many of whom have relatives in Jordan, a country where a majority of the population originate from west of the River Jordan.

The Palestinian Authority receives most of its electricity needs for the population under its control from Israel.

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Jordan has sought to expand exports to Palestinian markets and has been negotiating with Israel to ease trade hurdles. It has accused Israel of trying to keep a tight grip on the market so it can sell Israeli goods. Israel denies the charges.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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