The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced yesterday that it has formed a committee to investigate the impact of Israeli mobile phone towers built in the occupied West Bank, reported Xinhua.
A PA statement said the committee will work on “documenting the violations” of the towers in the West Bank, and assessing their “impact”, in order to “enact resolutions of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) relevant to Palestine’s control over its resources”, said the report.
Xinhua noted that “Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israel of restricting the Palestinian telecommunications sector under security and economic pretexts.”
According to Palestinian officials, Israeli telecommunications companies deliberately flood the Palestinian market with Israeli SIM cards “to provide Palestinian customers with competitive offers of internet data and phone calls that Palestinian companies cannot provide”.
Official data shows Israeli telecommunications companies have made more than $150 million of profit from Palestinian users, “who make up around 20 percent of their clients”, reported Xinhua.
Under the Oslo Accords, “the frequencies were to remain under Israel’s control till the end of the interim period, which was supposed to be in 1999.”
Since no final deal has been reached since, “frequencies and telecommunications-related matters have remained unresolved”.
In September 2012, the ITU resolved to send a fact-finding mission to the occupied West Bank “over Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinians to advance utilisation of frequencies”, but the decision has gone unimplemented.