Palestinian Authority facing mounting civilian unrest in Hebron

Palestinians threaten to block city entrance with 400 trucks as bread and fuel prices continue rising.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

Along with the political tension in Fatah and the deterioration of relations between Fatah and Hamas, the socio-economic unrest in the Palestinian Authority and especially in Hebron is now worsening.

The “Want to Live” protest movement has been very active in Hebron recently and is demanding that the Palestinian Authority government adopt a fair price policy, formulate a solution to socio-economic problems, reduce the salaries of senior ministers, and cancel agreements with Israel.

The unrest is due to a sharp rise in bread and oil prices, which have risen by more than 30 percent, and fuel prices have also risen. Protesters are threatening to block the entrance to the city with 400 trucks.

The movement stated their demands in 16 sections in the shadow of an economic crisis plaguing the Palestinian Authority, which is suffering from budgetary distress.

May salaries were not paid in full. The PA, it should be noted, currently pays about 245,000 salaries worth $300 million a month while its revenues stand at only $330 million. A Palestinian economist estimates that the poverty rate now stands at 27%

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The Palestinian Authority is also facing difficult decisions on its relations with Israel. A senior Palestinian official told TPS over the weekend that “our position is that all forms of political, security and economic relations should be cut off immediately and the recognition of Israel abolished.”

“The American side exerted unprecedented pressure to give it a short period of time for discussion and dialogue, and promised to send a high-level delegation to meet with President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas]. The situation is extremely difficult and every step that Israel takes will advance our decisions and bring about their immediate implementation,” he warned.