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Bethlehem streets shut over economic protests

Sept. 6, 2012 11:40 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 8, 2012 1:50 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Youth protests shut down several streets in Bethlehem late on Thursday evening, as rallies against rising living costs continued.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the main road, lighting tires outside the presidential headquarters and the entrances to the Old City, while chanting against rising prices.

In Beit Sahour, Beit Jala, and Nativity street, groups of Palestinians called for an end to spiraling economic hardship and for a change in government, while blocking traffic, many of whom honked in support.

"In Egypt they managed to get rid of (former president Hosni) Mubarak, we also need a change," one onlooker told Ma'an.

Dozens of security officials gathered at the presidential headquarters, but a security source told Ma'an they are under instructions from the Palestinian leadership "not to prevent citizens from expressing their opinions, in order to avoid any friction."
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