Palestinians strike as curbs bite



Reuters

Published — Thursday 20 December 2012

Last update 20 December 2012 2:08 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

RAMALLAH: Palestinian government employees in the West Bank began a two-day general strike yesterday to protest against a delay in the payment of their wages because of Israeli economic sanctions.
Israel is withholding some $100 million in monthly customs revenues it collects on the Palestinians’ behalf as punishment for their bid at the UN General Assembly to gain statehood recognition.
The Palestinian Authority was experiencing a deep financial crisis even before the move, and its 153,000 public sector workers have seen their salaries repeatedly issued late this year.
Around 50,000 workers took part yesterday’s stoppage. West Bank security forces, a pillar of security and cooperation with Israel, and staff in the Gaza Strip did not participate. “This strike is against Israel’s piracy,” said Bassam Zakarneh, chief of the government employees’ union said.
“The situation is very grave, and the services to the people are much reduced by the strike,” he said. “(People) can’t even afford transportation to their workplaces.”
Government workers last received salaries for October, which were paid belatedly at the end of last month. There was no word on when November or December wages might be handed over.
Israel said the unilateral Palestinian UN initiative contravened their peace accords and has threatened to withhold tax returns for four months to cover outstanding Palestinian debts with Israeli utility firms.
Strikes and protests over austerity measures turned violent in September. Demonstrators pelted security forces with rocks and called for the ousting of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas.
Yesterday’s action appeared much more subdued and there were no public protests, with Palestinians blaming Israel rather than their own government for their current economic woes.
“This puts about a million citizens in Palestine in the cycle of poverty,” said Fayyad, speaking of the Israeli sanctions. “We’re talking about doubling the rate of poverty in Palestine during a maximum period of two months from today if the situation continues as it is,” he told Reuters on Monday.
Arab countries have yet to fulfill pledges to offset the Israeli measures with cash donations.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: In a fresh boost for relations between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, the Kingdom has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding on Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) with Dhaka. The Kingdom endorsed a proposal in this regard at a meeting be...
The Indonesian mission is hopeful detained Indonesian pilgrims will be free “very soon.” The mission is trying to persuade Saudi authorities of their nationals’ innocence.Eleven Indonesian pilgrims, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah to perform U...
JEDDAH: Police at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh arrested a Saudi hacker after a government organization in Al-Leith in Makkah complained that he had hacked its website, according to an online newspaper.Col. Atti Al-Qurashi, spokesman fo...
JEDDAH: The special criminal court has sentenced a former military official to nine years in jail for joining Daesh and traveling to Syria to fight.A fine of SR5,000 was also slapped on him and he was barred from traveling abroad for nine years after...
JEDDAH: Saudi-Indian ties have reached a new high with the arrival of an Indian Air Force (IAF) flying contingent at the King Fahd Air Base in Taif.The mission, comprising more than 100 high-ranking IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi MKI fighter...
RIYADH: A tripartite agreement among the National Handicraft Program, Prisons Department and the Technical and Vocational Training Corp. (TVTC) was recently signed in the presence of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tou...
JEDDAH: British authorities have opened investigations into the plane crash that led to the death of three members of the Binladin family.Investigations depend on the black box which registers the entire plane’s data, including speed, position of mob...
JAZAN: In a tragic accident, a speeding fuel truck caused four deaths and injuries to many people when it collided head on with five cars on the northern entrance of Abu Areesh area of Jazan, according to a website.The truck deviated from its path an...
JEDDAH: Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister Abdul Lateef Al-Asheikh has directed all the municipal authorities to closely scrutinize the election candidates’ credentials to thwart violation of rules.This is to ensure that the candidates meet all the...
Mohammed Mokammel Hossain, labor consul, Bangladesh Consulate, Jeddah * Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most? Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah.* Can you tell us your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word? Insha’Allah. * W...
RIYADH: Expatriates feel Saudi Arabia is a safer place than their home countries despite the fact that the Kingdom is leading a war against the Yemeni rebels and other terror organizations and a couple of suicide attacks in the recent past. Mahmoud T...
RIYADH: The maximum medical policy or contract for visitors is SR100,000, which covers expenses on emergency treatment, maternity charges, traffic accident injuries, dialysis and medical treatment in or outside the Kingdom. Making the above announce...
JEDDAH: The city and its surrounding areas sweltered on Monday, with the maximum temperature rising to 44 degree Celsius and relative humidity being recorded at 85 percent. The weather department has forecast a similar situation in Jeddah on Tuesday....
JEDDAH: A National Academy for Energy in Dammam and a private technical technical college, both exclusively for women, will be opened in the Easter Province.The General Organization of Technical and Vocational Training is in the process of implementi...
AL-AHSA: Masjid Joatha or Joatha Mosque is a center of attraction in Al-Ahsa with many visitors and tourists thronging the place of worship, which was believed to have been built in the seventh year of Hijri (629 AD).The mosque has been restored as p...

Stay Connected

Facebook