Palestinian prime minister tries to calm protests
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian Authority will decrease fuel prices and cut salaries of top officials, the prime minister pledged on Tuesday after days of protests in the West Bank against the high cost of living.
The announcement by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is part of his efforts to calm the growing unrest in the Palestinian territory, where protesters have focused their anger at Fayyad, saying his policies are responsible for the tough living conditions.
Fayyad told a news conference that he will cancel a recent price hike in fuel prices and fund the subsidy with the money he will cut from the salaries of government ministers and other top officials.
The decision is tinged with politics: The salary cuts will affect top officials in the dominant Fatah Party.
Fatah activists have been leading the protests against Fayyad, a U.S.-educated economist and an independent politician.