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Watch: More protests in Ramallah, Bethlehem

Sept. 11, 2012 10:32 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 13, 2012 5:48 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A group of angry Palestinian governmental employees on Tuesday set fire copies of the Paris Protocol, while protesters in Ramallah called to bring down the Salam Fayyad government.

Protesters in Ramallah chanted against the Oslo peace accords and the Paris Protocol, a subsection of Oslo which binds the Palestinian economy with Israeli tax rates and trade.

The march followed a public transportation strike which paralyzed the occupied West Bank a day earlier. Taxi and truck drivers demanded the cancellation of increased taxes on fuel, and violent riots broke out in Hebron and Nablus.

Several hundred protesters arrived at Abbas' compound and called for Abbas and Fayyad to step down. They also called to bring down the Oslo Accord, participants said.

In Bethlehem, meanwhile, angry protesters burned copies of the Paris agreement but stopped short of calling for an end to Fayyad's government.

“Israel and its extremists such as Avigdor Lieberman keep threatening the Palestinian Authority and its leadership, but here comes the response to such threats from the Palestinian people as we burn these bad agreements to tell the Israelis neither our people, nor their leaders fear Israeli threats,” said Muhammad al-Jaafari, one of the protestors.

The torching came during a sit-in strike organized by the union of civil servants in Bethlehem district near the office of the city’s governor. Hundreds of employees joined the sit-in demanding improvement to their dire economic conditions. They also demanded that the PA cancel the Paris Protocol “which made the Palestinian economy dependent on the Israeli economy.”

The governor of Bethlehem Abdul-Fattah Hamayil asserted that he supports the employees and the Palestinian public and emphasized that President Mahmoud Abbas did not oppose protests as long as protestors do not vandalize property.
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