Palestinian PM pledges to cut fuel costs, top officials' salaries, after 6 days of protests
Palestinian ministers meet to discuss ways of easing economic hardships as demonstrations grow across West Bank.
The Palestinian Authority will decrease fuel prices and cut salaries of top officials, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pledged on Tuesday after days of protests in the West Bank against the high cost of living.
Hundreds of Palestinians protested in Ramallah on Tuesday on the sixth day of demonstrations across the West Bank, prompting Palestinian leaders to meet and discuss ways of easing the economic hardships.
Palestinian ministers met to discuss ways of easing economic hardships, which have provoked growing protests across the West Bank, challenging the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.
Fayyad told a news conference that he will cancel a recent price hike in fuel prices and fund the subsidy with the money he will cut from the salaries of government ministers and other top officials.
The decision is tinged with politics: The salary cuts will affect top officials in the dominant Fatah Party.
Protesters rallied in front of the office of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and demanded the lowering of prices, while government employees, who were due to receive only part of their August salaries, demanded to be paid in full.
Following the rally, the protesters took to the streets and marched to the center of Ramallah. They staged a partial strike and promised to picket the cabinet meeting in the de facto capital of Ramallah.
Public transportation as well as health services workers in the Palestinian Authority went on strike on Monday, leaving the city unusually quiet.
Palestinian ministers met on Tuesday to discuss ways of easing economic hardships, which have provoked growing protests across the West Bank, challenging the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.
On Monday, Palestinian demonstrations against steeply rising prices turned violent in some parts of the West Bank on Monday, as protesters smashed windows and attempted to storm a municipality building, before clashing with police.
In Hebron, police beat some demonstrators and hurled tear gas to disperse the crowd. The violence lasted for about an hour before it was brought under control. There were no reports of injuries.
On Sunday morning, trucks and taxis blocked the road leading from Bethlehem to Hebron, and in the evening, youths set tires alight in Ramallah and blocked streets.