Prices of basic food stuff have risen as bad economic and living conditions in the West Bank have become the new reality on the Palestinian street. Many shops have been forced to increase the prices of basic food commodities at a time when government staff are demanding an increase in their monthly wages, which are no longer sufficient to meet their daily needs.
The increase in prices has affected all basic food items, including flour, rice, meat and oil, with a loaf of bread now costing around $1.22. Fuel prices have also gone up significantly with the price of petrol at $2 and a bottle of gas costing $18.20.
Palestinians in the West Bank are complaining bitterly over these price increases which they say have reached their highest levels due to a lack of oversight by the Palestinian Authority. Various groups have demanded a reduction in the price of basic commodities as well as tax cuts. There are also calls for the authorities to take practical measures to limit what are being called “obscene” price rises to take into account the difficult economic conditions faced by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The stark reality belies western claims that the policies of Salam Fayyad have boosted the Palestinian economy. Critics point out that this might be true for Ramallah, or even parts of Ramallah, but it is certainly a myth as far as most of the occupied West Bank is concerned.
MEMO Photographer: Ibtehal Mansour