Several protests and demonstrations were held, starting on Thursday evening and extending to early Friday morning, as thousands of Palestinian youths took to the streets protesting the sharp increase of living costs despite the limited income of most residents.Some protesters in Ramallah, in the central West Bank, were chanting against Prime Minister, Dr. Salam Fayyad, demanding that he resign, and holding him and his government responsible for this crisis.
Residents of Beit Jala, al-Khader, Beit Sahour and several other areas in the Bethlehem district held massive protests while several youths blocked the streets with rocks and burnt tires.
Several protesters chanted against the increase in living costs, the sharp increase of the prices of food and fuel. Dozens of protesters also held sit-in protests on main roads blocking traffic.
A number of protesters in Bethlehem told the Ma’an News Agency that the current situation cannot be tolerated anymore as the prices are skyrocketing while unemployment reached serious levels and those who have jobs are barely able to feed themselves and their families.
Several protesters said that Fayyad and his government should resign for their “failed policies that only led to this sharp increase of living costs”.
Public transportation drivers in Ramallah held a two-hour strike on Friday morning in protest to the sharp increase of fuel prices and taxes.
They said that they will be holding another strike on Monday, but on a larger scale, should the government fail to drop fuel prices to their normal rates.
Protests were also held in Hebron as the residents expressed their rejection of the current situation and the increase of taxes against West Bank residents.
Different youth groups on social media outlets, especially Facebook and Twitter, urged the protesters to refrain from acts that cause destruction of public property and roads, and to avoid directing their anger towards the police and the security forces. These forces have not received their salaries, similar to other government employees, for several months and are facing the same economic hardships.
Activists said that there protests are nonviolent and are a democratic form of expressing their rejection the current situation. They further claimed that some elements infiltrated the protests to cause chaos.
During his Thursday meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, in Ramallah, Dr. Fayyad stated that the Palestinian Authority is conducting maximum efforts to resolve the current crisis.
Fayyad said that the Israeli restrictions and its illegal policies in the West Bank are impacting the entire situation and preventing any economic growth in the occupied territories.