Protests are growing in the Palestinian territories, especially in the major cities of the West Bank: Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus. Demonstrators are expressing their anger with the Palestinian Authority, with the high cost of living, and the high rate of unemployment among Palestinian youth.
The protests started after the Palestinian Authority declared an increase of about 8% in fuel and petrol prices in the West Bank, starting from the beginning of September. There was therefore a rapid rise in prices, without any significant increase in salaries or wages in the Palestinian territories.
Aban Idrees witnessed a protest in Hebron and tweeted [ar]:
Blogger Ola Al Tamimi also tweeted from Hebron [ar]:
Ola added [ar]:
Hafez Omar, a Palestinian activist and artist, tweeted [ar]:
Twitter was also flooded with funny slogans by Palestinian protesters. Rana Baker tweeted [ar]:
Another banner was captured by Lamees Suradi:
Twitter user iPalestine tweeted about an attempted self-immolation by a man called Hussein Qahwaji [ar]:
Some reports said that Qahwaji's daughter suffers from cancer, and is actually being treated in Jordan, and that he could not afford to visit her.
It wasn't the first case of a Palestinian using self-immolation as a protest. On September 2, 17-year-old Ehab Abu al-Nada died in Gaza after he set himself on fire, maybe in imitation of the Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi. Ehab Abu al-Nada had left school and used to work for 13 hours a day for just 30 shekels (about US$ 7.4) in order to help his father with family expenses.
The incident gained a lot of attention, especially after a photo was published of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh with Ihab's father; Haniyeh visited to give him “emergency aid” of US$ 2,000 after Ehab's death.
Many wonder if this new movement will continue, and whether it could spread to other towns and cities. John Lyndon asked:
@johnlyndon1: Self immolation in Gaza; Fayyad effigy burning in Hebron; protests in major West Bank cities. Is spring arriving late in #Palestine?