Israel Electric Union Won’t Fix Gaza Power Until Bodies Returned

Israel’s conflict with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip is playing out in companies, with Israel Electric Corp. workers saying they won’t fix power lines to the isolated territory until the Islamist group returns Israeli captives and remains.

The militant group that rules the Palestinian enclave holds the bodies of two Israeli soldiers who fought in Gaza during the 2014 war there, and two Israeli civilians who entered the territory voluntarily and are said by their families to suffer from mental disabilities.

The utility’s management opposed the workers’ move.

“Israel Electric Corp. is a government company, subject to law, and believes that electricity is an essential item that is outside the conflict,” it said in a statement Thursday.

Earlier this week, the Cellcom Israel Ltd. mobile phone company inserted itself into the conflict when it held an hour-long work stoppage to demonstrate support for co-existence between Israel’s Jewish majority and its Arab minority. The strike took place the same day that leaders of the Arab Israeli community called a one-day walkout to protest government policies in contested Jerusalem and Gaza.

Cellcom’s share dropped on Tuesday after a right-wing politician called on customers to leave the company, which said the work stoppage -- announced under the headline “Protest” -- wasn’t connected to the strike. The share has since recovered, rising as much as 3.6% on Thursday after reporting first quarter earnings.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.