The Palestinian Authority has decided to decrease fuel prices and cut salaries of top officials after days of protests against the high cost of living. The announcement came by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday as part of his efforts to calm the growing unrest in the occupied West Bank. The decision comes after a week of protests in the occupied West Bank, which turned violent on Monday, as thousands of demonstrators frustrated by the economic crisis smashed a municipal building's windows and threw stones at policemen, leaving dozens injured. The protests were prompted by tens of thousands of Palestinian taxi, truck and bus drivers after they staged a one-day strike.
Palestinians blame Israel for soaring prices as Tel Aviv crimps economic activity in the West Bank and Gaza through the so-called Paris Protocol, which gives it control over military checkpoints and Palestine's borders.Many say that the anger is rooted in the dashed expectations from 2011, when Palestinian Authority leaders were lauded by the international community for having built an economy and a government that was ready to become independent, but were rejected at the United Nations Security Council when they submitted a membership request. PG/JR/SS