Protesters have taken to the streets in the West Bank to throw stones, burn tires, break into buildings, and hold signs demanding the resignation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
In a fashion eerily similar to the start of events last year in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere, hordes of young, disenchanted men have been chanting slogans protesting poverty and ill treatment. At least two protesters have immolated themselves in front of others in an attempt to bring attention to the ongoing “economic crisis” in the West Bank and Gaza.
The West Bank protesters are also demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. To that end, they have burned a doll of Fayyad in the streets, successfully shut down Public Transport in West Bank cities, and marched through the streets, highlighting their hunger by chanting, “Once we asked for Palestine, now we ask for a sack of flour.”
Although Hamas has no intention of allowing the protests to spread into Gaza, Abbas and the PA appear ready to use the protests as one more opportunity to criticize Israel for Palestinian problems.
Abbas, in particular, has already said the economic hardship in the West Bank is due to the “Israeli siege.”