Israeli forces have cracked down on a Palestinian protest in Beit Amer, in the occupied West Bank. Protesters were demanding the resignation of Salam Fayyad's Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority in the wake of massive price rises of essential goods. According to Quds Press, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters with tear-gas and rubber bullets.
A spokesman for the Popular Committee to Resist Settlements and the Separation Wall, Ahmed Abu-Hashim, said that he had told the Israeli commander that the demonstration was not aimed at Israelis. "That is why we were surprised when the Israelis attacked us," he said. "They came at us from all sides."
Abu-Hashim added that a number of people came together to organise the protest against the sharp price rises in the West Bank and managed to close the main entrance of the town. The drivers of public vehicles blocked the main road connecting the Hebron area with other Palestinian governorates.
The Israeli response was predictable. "Sadly, Israeli governments, of all persuasions, view everything through the prism of security; hence they may opt for a violent crackdown," wrote Daud Abdullah of MEMO last week. It looks as if the drive to protect Salam Fayyad and the increasingly feeble Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority has begun.