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Massive price rises in the occupied West Bank

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm


West Bank cities are suffering from massive rises in the price of basic food commodities and fuel, as well as the general economic recession caused by uncertainty about public sector salaries, Palestinian analysts said on Sunday.

One day after the Israelis announced a rise in fuel prices in the occupied territories, the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank announced officially that this would mean a rise in the cost of petrol from NIS 7.03 to NIS 7.53 per litre (around £1.13 to £1.22 per litre).

The Summit of the Free Palestinian Youth (Shabab) warned the PA about the rise in fuel prices and taxes at the time of a severe economic recession in the West Bank.

“The PA must recognise the serious criticism by businessmen because of the new policies which impose taxes over investment in the Palestinian territories,” Shabab said in a press release. “There is a fear of the future among Palestinians because of the new economic policies which started with a gradual increase in the prices of certain commodities such as fuel and cigarettes.”

Palestinian analysts attribute the bad economic situation of the PA to the treaties which connect the Palestinian economy with Israel’s.

Mustafa al-Barghouti, the head of the Palestinian Initiative, called recently for a critical review for the Paris Economic Treaty which was signed between Palestinians and Israelis in 1996 to regulate their commercial relationship. Sources in Israel and Palestine said last week that a new Palestinian-Israeli commercial treaty was signed between the Ramallah PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the Israeli finance minister Yuval Steinitz.

MEMO Photographer: Ibtehal Mansour