West Bank suffering increases due to price hikes, salary deduction

Palestinians shop at a market in Ramallah (Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 2, 2022

Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank are suffering from the major price hikes and deduction of salaries as the Palestinian Authority (PA) might be unable to continue paying full salaries for several months ahead.

By the start of February, prices of most food commodities rose sharply, Palestinian trader, Mohammad Asfour, from the occupied West Bank, told Quds Press.

The trader pointed out that the prices rose between 10 and 100 per cent, noting that the price hikes included rice, sugar, cereals, coffee, oils, milk and drinks.

Azmi, a PA employee, said: “He has started preparing himself to start looking for additional work or a new job that would help him live in dignity.”

Speaking to Quds Press, Azmi wondered: “How will the West Bank residents deal with the situation in the almost complete absence of consumer protection associations?”

He said: “Many PA employees have already left their work places and turned to work in Israel due to the difficult living conditions,” pointing out that one of his friends, who was a teacher, has left his post.

Trader Asfour said that the PA would not be able to do anything with the price hike because it is not local, but related to the international and Israeli price hikes.

Economic expert, Thabet Abul Rooce told Quds Press that the “full dependence of the Palestinian market on imports led to the extreme price hikes.”

He also pointed to the “complete connection between the Palestinian economy in the occupied West Bank and Israel, as per Paris Economic Protocol, is another major reason for the price hikes.”

Abul Rooce stressed: “The victim of these price hikes is the normal citizen who pays the bill alone, not the importer or the trader, or the PA.”

He ruled out that the PA would be able to do anything because the price rise comes from the source.