The Bethlehem area is suffering a serious gas shortage which if continued would paralyze traffic in the district.

Prices were already high, and have now skyrocketed. Lines of cars are waiting at one gas station located near the new Israeli Wall surrounding Rachel’s Tomb in northern Bethlehem. It is the only one left with a supply. Almost all the stations throughout the area, in Beit Sahour and Beit Jala and the villages are empty.

One of the many Palestinians in line said that even if they can find gas it is not affordable, but as all routes out of Bethlehem are routinely closed to Palestinians, the space in which to expend fuel is extremely limited.

Palestinians pay 6 shekels, which is equal to 1 dollar and 40 cents for one liter, while Americans pay 2 dollars for one gallon. (1 gallon = 3.8 liters).  This means that the Palestinian citizen pays 3 times the amount an American would pay for gas, given that the average American earns triple the amount an over-paid Palestinian would earn.

Sources in the Petroleum Authority of the Bethlehem District reported Wednesday that all kinds of gas are nearly gone, noting that 300,000 liters per day are used for cars in the Bethlehem area alone.

In light of the situation, Palestinians working in 16 gas stations are organizing a nonviolent demonstration against the Israeli company that is controlling the situation. They say that this crisis is part and parcel to the collective punishment imposed on the Palestinian public since they went to the ballot boxes in January, electing the Hamas party to the Palestinian Legislative Council.

The crisis is expected to spread to all Palestinian districts in the coming few days.  The Gas crisis come together with the salaries crisis which is resulted from the booycott the US and the EU imposed on the Palestinian Authority throughy which funds are not allowed to reach the Palestinian areas.