Fayyad: This is not the Palestinian Spring
Published Friday 07/09/2012 (updated) 08/09/2012 20:51
President Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pray
in Ramallah on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.
(Reuters/Mohamad Torokman, File)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday that the protest movement focused on his economic policies could not be characterized as the arrival of the "Palestinian Spring".
Speaking to reporters at a conference broadcast on official PA TV, Fayyad said the Palestinian Spring began in 1948, the year of Israel's founding and the exodus of Palestinians from their ancestral homes.
"We will not reproduce the Arab Spring here, because we are not a state," he said.
On Wednesday, President Mahmoud Abbas said the "Palestinian Spring" had begun, calling protesters demands "right and fair," without mentioning his premier and former finance minister. Fayyad has emerged as a central focus of mass strikes and marches through West Bank cities protesting rising living costs.
Fayyad told reporters he was "hurt" by protesters demands for his removal, but would "not react in anger."
In Hebron on Tuesday, protesters burned an effigy of the premier.
Several prominent West Bank political figures have thrown their support behind the protesters' demands. Fayyad noted that he had not prevented any minister from making public comments on the protest movement.
But he insisted that his resignation would not help the economic situation, which was sparked by a five percent hike in the price of fuel which filters higher costs through to many staple products.
On Friday, Fayyad posted several notes explaining his economic policies on his official Facebook account.
"We cannot fix the prices of goods because their demand will be increased with less supply ... This might expose traders to lose their money," he wrote.
"Importing oil from other countries, is a good proposal, but will not lead to lower prices," he said, while insisting that the PA continues to sell fuel below market rates.
He also wrote: "I know we are going through a difficult time, and I hope this will be fixed as soon as possible."