The head of the Civil Service Union in the occupied West Bank has said that employees of the Palestinian Authority will continue to protest against the economic policies adopted by the government of Salam Fayyad.
Bassam Zakarneh pointed out that the union will announce a full programme for the protests on Sunday. A full strike is possible in October, he warned. The union believes that the Ramallah government will have had sufficient time by then to address the difficult economic conditions engulfing Palestinians as they face sharp price rises.
In a media statement, Zakarneh added that the government has not taken any serious steps in response to any of the protesters’ demands. “There has been no dialogue with the union to address the workers’ demands,” he pointed out, “despite the horrendous rise in prices this month.” Unfortunately, he added, the government’s policies seem to be moving towards higher income and other taxes instead.
Zakarneh warned Fayyad’s government that the outbreak of large popular protests cannot be contained. Protesters are found in all sectors of Palestinian society in the West Bank. They are demanding that public employees’ salaries should be paid in full and on time; PA debts to the private-sector should be paid; a minimum wage should be determined; and lower, not higher, taxes should be levied to ease the difficulties facing all Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.