Furious Palestinians turn against their own
THE Arab Spring appears to have reached the Palestinian territories, with growing protests directed at the high cost of living.
But, as with other protests in the Arab world over the past two years, the protests are broadening.
Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and the performance of the Palestinian Authority are also being targeted.
While most demonstrations in recent weeks have been peaceful, on Saturday night one took on a more destructive tone.
At a major intersection in Ramallah, near Jerusalem, youths blocked roads with rocks and set fire to overturned garbage bins, mattresses and piles of wood.
The demonstration was outside the al-Amari refugee camp. Protests were also held over the weekend in Hebron and Nablus.
The trigger for the demonstrations has been the inability of the PA to pay full salaries to its 150,000 employees this month.
A major target of the protests is PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who is more popular among Western leaders than among many of his people. Mr Fayyad, a trusted point of contact for leaders such as the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is blamed for cutbacks to entitlements and rising prices.
The former economist with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund has overseen a crackdown on inefficiencies and corruption in the PA. He has been praised by the IMF for making changes to the Palestinian economy, just as criticism of him has grown among Palestinians.
Yesterday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas held a press conference to try to quell the growing unrest by blaming a range of other entities. He panned Israel for its occupation of the West Ban
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