Last updated: 4 September, 2012

Palestinians protest against cost of living

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated on Tuesday in West Bank cities against the high cost of living, directing their anger at prime minister Salam Fayyad.

In the southern city of Hebron, streets were closed and hundreds of people burned an effigy of Fayyad with an Israeli flag above it, an AFP photographer said.

In Ramallah, seat of the presidency and the Palestinian government, traffic was held up for about 15 minutes as several dozen protesters chanted “Fayyad get out!” echoing slogans of last year’s Arab Spring protests.

The government, in a statement, said its weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Fayyad focused on “the rise in world prices and its effects on the local market and living conditions, as well as the means to deal … with such conditions.”

The ministers instructed “the ministerial economic committee to conduct necessary meetings within the coming two days to examine all possible options and measures needed due to the price rises.”

Several ministers say the Palestinian Authority is going through its “worst financial crisis” since it was created in 1994 due to continued Israeli restrictions and declining international aid, especially from Arab countries.