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Hundreds of Palestinians Demonstrate in Hebron Against Chaos, High Prices

Hundreds of angry Palestinians demonstrated in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday against high prices and the security chaos. Dozens of truck owners and drivers organized a sit-in the center of Hebron demanding the Palestinian government reduce prices and taxes, and provide security to end the recent uptick in lawlessness and the state of chaos in the city.

The current tension is not new to the largest Palestinian city where tribal order rules, and the PA security forces have had difficulty reigning in the violence. The past few days has seen a surge in violence in the city, where a band of young men from one family attacked businesses belonging to another family, at times firing live bullets.

The city has been simmering and on the verge of boiling over for more than a year, and many of the leaders warn that unless the Palestinian Authority moves quickly to confiscate illegal weapons and restore order to the city, the situation will explode out of control.
Two of Hebron’s largest families are feuding since last summer when one member of the Al-Owaiwi family killed a member of Al-Jaabari family in a revenge act for the murder of a relative more than 15 years ago.

Meanwhile, last week several Palestinian businesses hiked the prices of their products, putting substantial pressure on the PA, which forced the businesses to reverse their decision. Public pressure also led to the decision by businesses to cancel the price hikes.