Mass strike in Palestine

8 September 2012

Prices have skyrocketed in Palestine recently. Key articles like petrol, flour and milk have all increased by more than 25%. The price of a 50 kg sack of flour is now about 60% higher than it was just recently.

This has led to a mass strike throughout the West Bank, a strike that includes everybody from taxi drivers to the teachers at schools and universities. The strikers are demanding the resignation of Salam Fayyad, whom they claim has not done enough to solve the problems regarding the sudden price increase. The strikers also call for the PA to abolish the Paris Protocol, a part of the Oslo 1 agreement that enables Israel to dictate and collect the import taxes for products imported to Palestine.

Lately Palestinians employed in the public sector have received cuts to their salaries. Salaries that are always late. Palestinian farmers to are struggling to get a sufficient income. They are not able to export their products, and are thus forced to sell it all at the domestic market, leading to a flooded market for vegetables and a collapse in the prices for their crop. This, combined with a unemployment rate of over 15% for the West Bank and 40% for Gaza, makes the price increases unbearable for the average family. They find themselves unable to pay the bills for electricity, water, food and transport.

Since Tuesday September 4. two men have soaked themselves in petrol and tried to ignite themselves after a young man burned himself to death in Gaza out of sheer desperation of their situation.

Palestinians are now gathering in the streets beating on pots and pans to illustrate the lack of food.