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Monday, September 10, 2012

PalArabs protest fuel prices; West Bank paralyzed (update)

Public transport workers in the PA called a general strike today, paralyzing life throughout the West Bank.

People who rely on public transportation were unable to go to work or school.

Beyond that, other protesters have been burning tires to block roads, in Ramallah and Jenin.

Rising fuel prices sparked the protests last week.

Panicked citizens have been buying up bread as they fear that bakery owners will join the strike. The bakers say that they won't, but people are worried about supply lines to the bakeries or that tomorrow they won't be able to even reach the bakeries altogether.

Yesterday, protesters demanded the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas. Up untl now, prime minister Salam Fayyad had been the focus of the protests. The main road between the northern and southern West Bank was blocked yesterday by protesters.

Abbas had a major press conference on Saturday, but as far as I can tell he again did not say a word of support for Fayyad. (UPDATE: He does defend Fayyad to the West here, h/t David G.)

Seeing the writing on the wall, Hamas announced that they would reduce the price of fuel in Gaza, lowering the cost of fuel by 20 agorot a liter. 

UPDATE: Protests getting violent in Hebron, according to tweeters.