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Israeli airstrike kills Palestinian in Khan Younis
Ramallah protestors call on Abbas to resign
Published Sunday 09/09/2012 (updated) 10/09/2012 22:34
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A protester takes part in a demonstration against the high cost of living
in Ramallah, September 8, 2012. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Demonstrators in Ramallah called on President Abbas to resign on Sunday, a Ma'an correspondent said, as protests over the rising cost of living continue in the West Bank.

Truck drivers blocked traffic in Ramallah's Manara Square as people marched in the city center against the economic policies of the Palestinian Authority.

A leader in the popular protests, Mahir Amir, told Ma'an that protesters wanted to send a message to President Abbas to urge him to annul the Paris Protocol with Israel.

The protests also demand that the PLO plays an appropriate role in controlling the Palestinian Authority, Amir added.

"We don't put the blame on Salam Fayyad or any other individual personally. This crisis is a result of several elements. However, what we demand is an overall review of the government and the PA's political, economic and social policies," he said.

Public transport drivers also organized a protest outside of the offices of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Protesters carried banners urging the PA to revoke its decision to raise the price of fuel and other basic commodities.

The head of the union of public transport, Muhammad Sarhan, handed a letter with their demands to a representative of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

The letter urged the PA to support the public transport sector by reducing taxes.

On Sunday morning, the Wadi al-Nar road connecting the south and north West Bank was jammed with burning tires and rocks, as protests against economic hardship continued across the West Bank.

Paris Protocol

Frustrated by rising prices and high levels of unemployment, Palestinians took to the streets this week to protest the dire economic outlook.

PA premier Salam Fayyad, who also held the finance minister post until earlier this year, has emerged as a focus of the protests, but demonstrators have also demanded that the Paris Protocol agreement signed with Israel in 1994 be amended.

UN agencies and Palestinian economists say the economic sections of the Oslo interim peace deals, outlined in the Paris Protocol of 1994, have been implemented by Israel selectively and mostly to its benefit.

"Eighteen years of the Paris economic agreement have become a heavy burden on the Palestinian people and led to very difficult financial and economic conditions," Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh told Reuters.

The Protocol gave Israel sole control over Palestine's external trade, and collection of customs duties, allowing the state to serially hold back this revenue as punishment for Palestinian political measures, such as the bid for UN membership.

It also pegs VAT to Israeli tax rates, currently at 17 percent, despite the huge disparity in average Palestinian and Israeli incomes.

"Israel has not committed to open its market to the Palestinians while the Palestinian market has remained open to it," Samir Abdullah, director general of the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, said.

Mechanisms for economic dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians were mandated by the interim Paris deal, which like the Oslo accords, was meant to last for only five years pending a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Reuters contributed to this report
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1 ) Filipe / Portugal
09/09/2012 20:34
OMG !!!!! They should be remanded to the ICC to be tried for incitement, the same as Abbass has demanded of Lieberman for calling for Abbass' removal form office !

2 ) Nour / 1-STATE
09/09/2012 20:40
Game Over Abbas. Degage. 20 years of your disasters, aka the Oslo Accords, have brought Palestinians nothing but subjugation at the hands of Zionism, humiliation, and theft of what remained of our lands. 20 years of economic and political mismanagement. Time to exit while you can (resignation). If not, you shall face the wrath of the Arab Palestinian people. Do not insult your own people by even coming close to suggesting there is no substitute to you.

3 ) AKeenReader / UK
09/09/2012 20:44
Are they Liberman's suppporters in disguise who are calling for Abbas to resign?

4 ) Arnold / Canada
09/09/2012 21:17
Demand elections you idiots. You Palestinians should be ashamed of yourselves. You voted in a political party of choice. That was good. But now those elected parties are cementing themselves to their seats. That is bad. The Constitution calls for a time limit till the next elections. It is way past that.

5 ) Nour / 1-STATE
09/09/2012 21:31
Global PNC Elections. Nothing else is legitimate.

6 ) Said / Canada
09/09/2012 21:59
Rumor's have been circulating for month's,that Fayyad & Abbas secretly hate each other. Maybe no secret any more.

7 ) WAS / UK
09/09/2012 22:49
Why not do the honourable thing and resign? How's Abbas any different from the likes of Mubarak, Ben Ali, Gaddafi and Bouteflika? You were all thieving, treacherous dictators ruling at the behest of foreign powers.

8 ) some one / some where
10/09/2012 02:02
why soha arafat get $20000000 and arafat wealth over $1B and each one of past present and future minister return what they still and president son stop stealing and give some money for now why should us tax payer give you so you steal again why why why

9 ) @ Nour-2 / Righteous
10/09/2012 03:05
The protestors should DO MORE than just "call on Abbas to resign". After all, Abbas is just one man, and the entire PA, is responsible. And, resigning will NOT enough either. The entire PLO should all go back to their Tunisian exile, just like before the Oslo agreement, and take their stupid "sell-out Accords" with them !!!

10 ) Al / US
10/09/2012 04:26
The people are fed up with the corrupt pa and plo regime. This is not just about rising prices. The people finally realized they forgot to throw out the garbage.

11 ) Charlie / USA
10/09/2012 04:51
Abbas and his cronies have tried to flip this thing by having their agents in the street call for Salam Fayyad to resign and distort the real reason of the protests. Abbas and the entire Palestinian Collaborationist Authority must be dismantled. The Paris agreement must be dismantled. OSLO must be dismantled. All cooperation with Izrahell must be dismantled. All previous collaborators and profiteers of Palestinian suffering must be arrested and humiliated. A new resistance council must be setup.

12 ) Nour / 1-STATE
10/09/2012 07:49
#7 You are correct. Abbas is just another Arab dictator (only difference is that he needs "Israel's" constent each and every time he crosses the Allenby Bridge!). The man is becoming senile. He simply can't see things in perspective. The Oslo Accords have ruined the Palestinian people and their just cause, and reduced us to beggar status! Both Fatah and Hamas are not rejected. Global PNC Elections and overhaul of the PLO is now critical.

13 ) Salma / Palestine
10/09/2012 08:41
yes Abu Mazen enough is enough , go home and allow third intifada against the illegal occupation, there are no democratic elections under the occupation and Let's stop trying to sell ourselves on the idea that there's real authority under the occupation .

14 ) Lubna / Nablus
10/09/2012 08:45
Abbas and hamas , don’t insult the Palestinian people’s right to criticize its politicians. unite or go to hell , We PALESTINIAN PEOPLE want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want our rights , Fatah and hamas failed so other groups must take their place, until our voice can’t be ignored anymore.

15 ) Omar / Gaza
10/09/2012 08:46
uck Israel. Fuck Hamas. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNRWA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza and WB , are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, Fatah, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community!

16 ) Farah / Ramallah
10/09/2012 08:49
thought there's no money then how abbas will go to India tomorrow ? on the donkey maybe lol

17 ) Giacomo / USA
10/09/2012 16:11
Only peace will bring prosperity. Unite, negotiate, live in peace, live in sovereign freedom, live in prosperity.

18 ) @ Salma-13 / \ Tibi/Tubas
10/09/2012 16:11
The "Old Israel" is gone.
The "New Israel" has A STONE SECURITY FENCE in place, and with all sorts of new more effective ways of dealing with our Intifada or "Rage".

A Third Intifada will only lead to Palestinians suffering and destroying what little prosperity they have left, while Israel continues to enjoy security and prosperity !!

19 ) Jeffrey / UK
12/09/2012 15:37
The way for the Palestinians to get control of their economy is for them to negotiate peace with Israel and have their own currency. Then they can have responsibility for their own economic policy and for their own living standards. If they continue to make war then they will have to pay the costs of it themselves and will have no money to invest in infrastructure or in development..... and they will only have themselves to blame. Having a state is about taking responsibility for themselves.
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