Last updated: 8 September, 2012

Palestinians stage anti-PM protest over soaring prices

Dozens of Palestinians from Al-Amari refugee camp in the West Bank burned tyres, blocked the road into the camp and chanted slogans against prime minister Salam Fayyad late Saturday.

An AFP correspondent said the protest demanding that the Palestinian premier resign over the government’s economic policies came after Fayyad was surrounded earlier by angry protesters at a local radio station, shouting “Fayyad, out!”

Soaring prices have sparked an unprecedented wave of social protest across the West Bank, with angry demonstrators demanding Fayyad’s ouster.

“There is no disagreement between me and the government,” Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said in a televised address on Saturday.

“I have instructed the relevant ministers to meet tomorrow, Sunday, with business, the private sector and civil society to discuss solutions to the current economic crisis,” he added.

In scenes reminiscent of the Arab Spring protests which swept the Middle East, protesters have taken to the streets in their thousands to demand lower prices, with their anger focused on Fayyad and his government.

Fayyad, whose term in office was renewed by Abbas in May, on Thursday vowed he would not step aside.

“I don’t need any advice about stepping down, I’m on a mission, I’m not just doing a job,” he told the private Palestinian radio station Rai FM.

“If a situation arises and I know I am not able to handle it — for objective reasons and not over complaints — I want to assure everyone that I will not be an obstacle and will not stay (in office) a day longer.”