Demonstrators pelt government building with stones, burn tires on West Bank streets in protest against their government's financial woes.
Hamas: PA residents protest while Abbas buys designer shoes-
Recent West Bank protests over cost of living play right into Hamas hands; claim situation better in Gaza Strip and note that while people suffer, Abbas buys designer shoes. The article alleges that the Palestinian president prefers to buy moccasins by world renowned Italian shoemaker 'Fabi'. According to reports, the price of one pair of shoes could cost as much as 20,000 euros (about $25,500)-
Palestinians protesting a rising cost of living in the West Bankpelted a government building with stones and burned tires in the streets on Monday, in a sign that a nascent movement against the Western-backed government could spiral out of control.
In Nablus, a violent rally-turned-riot saw Palestinian security forces use crowd-control measures, including stun grenades, to disperse hundreds of protesters. Twenty people were reportedly hurt.
In Hebron, dozens of youths threw shoes at a poster of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, chanting "The government has betrayed us."
Elsewhere in the West Bank protesters blocked the main entrances to cities, setting tires ablaze.
The violence is likely to set alarm bells ringing, not least in Israel, where security chiefs have warned of the risk of unrest at a time of growing economic hardship coupled with total paralysis in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Poor planning, tight Israeli controls and global economic worries have caused a marked slowdown in the Palestinian economy, with growth rates falling by half from the 9% increase registered in 2010.
The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, has taken on increasing debt to overcome its shortfalls, but economists say that the situation is unsustainable.
Earlier on Monday more than a thousand Palestinians had joined a rally in Hebron, which is accustomed to violent confrontations with Israeli settlers but is not used to inter-Palestinian discord.
Public transport workers also staged a strike across the small territory to demand a cut in fuel costs, preventing many people from getting to their work, while a number of schools reported low attendance.
Taxi drivers blocked the street in front of Fayyad's office in the West Bank administrative capital Ramallah, while dozens of youths urged him to "leave, leave," echoing a slogan made popular in the Arab Spring.
The West Bank protest movement kicked off last week, when the price of fuel was increased by five percent after key suppliers in Israel hiked their charges.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed the demonstrations, equating them with the Arab Spring and blaming Israeli policies for the economic turbulence.
Hamas: PA residents protest, Abbas buys designer shoes-
Hamas is taking advantage of the recent West Bank protests over the cost of living in order to show just how good life is in the Gaza Strip.
The al-Resalah news site, which is affiliated with Hamas, lost no time in verbally attacking Palestianian President Mahmoud Abbas, quoting an article from Italy's Il-Messaggero newspaper and claiming: "Abbas' shoes cost 20,000 euro!"
The article alleges that the Palestinian president prefers to buy moccasins by world renowned Italian shoemaker 'Fabi'. According to reports, the price of one pair of shoes could cost as much as 20,000 euros (about $25,500).
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