Hendel Takes Parting Shot at Bezeq’s High Prices

YERUSHALAYIM -
Outgoing Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel during a recent visit to the Eretz Ayalim Farm and the Museum of Antiquities in Gush Etzion. (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

They’ll remember Yoaz Hendel.

The Derekh Eretz MK made sure of that on Tuesday, his last day as Communications Minister, when he announced the decision to cut Bezeq telephone fees by forty percent, Globes reported.

Bezeq customers, who have been paying 50-60 shekels a month will see their fees drop to 30-40 (including VAT), reducing household telephone bills by hundreds of shekels a year.

In addition, under the new policy, all the alternative payment schemes will be abolished, and all Bezeq subscribers will be on the “basic” scheme, which calls for separate payments for the fixed charge and for calls. Those who prefer a single fixed payment will be able to join the service package offered that is limited to 500 call minutes.

The ministry has been examining the matter for several months and was still working on it, but Hendel decided to go public with it before he left office. He was fired as minister of communications by Blue & White leader Benny Gantz, following Hendel’s decision to join the new party being formed by Gideon Saar. Hendel held the job on behalf of Blue and White.

Ministry of Communications director general Liran Avisar Ben-Horin said, “Revision of the tariffs is due after seventeen years and the changes in the telecommunications market and the technological developments in recent years, and it will create a correct balance between the costs to the company of providing service and subscribers’ payments.”

Hendel said, “We are coming out today with a move designed to right a prolonged wrong to consumers that affects every household in Israel, in which we are revising Bezeq’s controlled fixed-line telephony prices downwards.”

Bezeq’s share price was also down, by nearly 14% on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as of Tuesday morning.