Frum Communities Without Electricity On Hottest Shabbos In Decades – Israeli Electric Company: “We Didn’t Know”

Illustrative: Heatwave. (Vosizneias).

In a record-breaking heat wave which has seen the hottest temperatures on record in Jerusalem (42.8 degrees- 109 degrees fahrenheit) and Eilat (49 degrees- 120 degrees fahrenheit), a number of communities near Modi’in went without electricity for an entire Shabbos -and the Israeli Electric Company (IEC) claims that it did not even know they did not have electricity, since “nobody called to tell us.”

The 2000-member community of Nof Ayalon is situated adjacent to Kibbutz Sha’alvim near the Jerusalem highway. Due to record demand for electricity in the searing heat, there were numerous shortages over the last few days; and minutes before Shabbos, the electricity to the entire community was cut.

Residents were convinced that the blackout would last just a short period, but in the end the entire Shabbos they did not have electricity. When residents called the IEC after Shabbos, they were told that the company “had not known” of their blackout.

Similarly in Modi’in Illit, a large Chareidi residential town nearby, a number of neighborhoods were without electricity for the entire Shabbos after a central phase burnt out – but the city somehow did not appear on the list of problem regions at the IEC.

Similar complaints of electric shortages were recorded in Beitar Illit and in a number of places in Jerusalem. A Jerusalem resident who is also an electrician claimed that the electric company purposely removed phases of electricity from religious neighborhoods since it knew that they would not complain the entire Shabbos and this way the IEC would be able to regulate the amount of electricity in the rest of the country.

Deputy Transport Minister Uri Maklev addressed Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz after Shabbos as well as the head of the IEC, Yftach Ron-Tal and complained about the poor service over the weekend for religious neighborhoods. Maklev demanded a “comprehensive investigation of the inept preparation by the IEC for the heatwave.”


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