- Published on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 00:05
Hundreds of Palestinians took out to the streets in Bethlehem to express their anger over economic hardship on Monday evening.
The youth-led protests roamed through the narrow streets of Dheisheh and Azza refugee camps and culminated with a peaceful rally in front of the Presidential Palace.
The protesters demanded amendments to the Paris Agreement which ties Palestinian economy to the one of Israel, and the ouster of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad whom many Palestinians blame for the current economic crisis.
-- Everything is expensive here but the people – Marwan, a political activist from Bethlehem told PNN, arguing that the PA does not do enough to support the poor and tackle the economic hardship.
Mohammed, a youth activist from the Aida Camp, said that over the last few years the prices were rapidly rising whereas wages remained the same, making it difficult for people to make ends meet.
-- We are here to send a clear message to the Palestinian President: re-negotiate the Paris Agreement and fight this rampant corruption – Mohammed told PNN.
Sporting a t-shirt featuring the right of return, Mohammed was quick to admit that the Palestinian Authority operates with limited powers and part of the problem is the Israeli occupation. But asked whether the people would soon turn their grief into a massive protest against Israel, he shrugged his arms and said that it was hard to predict what the current wave of protests would lead to.
Unlike the violent Thursday protest which left the streets of Bethlehem in chaos, the Monday rally took place in a peaceful atmosphere.