Palestinians demonstrated in West Bank cities Tuesday in protest against an increase in prices of fuel and basic goods. The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, announced that it was studying the possibility of importing cheaper fuel from Arab countries.

In Ramallah, scores of young men blocked the main road leading to the Mukata presidential compound in protest against the high cost of living. The protesters carried banners that read: “No to Starvation” and “No to the Government of Disgrace” – a reference to the government of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

In Hebron, dozens of protesters burned effigies of Fayyad and shouted slogans denouncing his government.

Earlier, dozens of truck drivers staged a sit-in strike in the center of Hebron, blocking several main roads.

In the nearby town of Dura, Palestinians foiled an attempt by a man to set himself on fire in protest against the high cost of living.

Similar protests also erupted in Bethlehem and the nearby Dehaishe refugee camp, where hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets, demanding that the PA government take measures to solve the economic crisis.

In a bid to calm the protesters, PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced that public employees would receive full salaries for August later this week. In recent months, PA employees have been receiving only half of their salaries due to a severe financial crisis in the government.

Sources close to Abbas said he was also planning to ask for a delay in the decision to raise the price of fuel and some basic goods.

Fuad Shobaki, head of the Palestinian Petroleum Corporation, said the PA was now studying the possibility of importing fuel from a number of Arab countries.

He said that such a move would require coordination with Israel, and that he expected Jerusalem to agree to the proposition.

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