RAMALLAH, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced on Tuesday a series of measures to calm down protests against rising prices and economic hardship in the West Bank.
Recent increase on prices of fuel and cooking gas, which triggered the demonstrations this month, was canceled and the PNA will cut from the salaries of high-ranking employees to cover the difference in the prices, Fayyad said. The PNA buys the fuel from Israel.
Fayyad also said in a press conference that government expenses and spending would be suspended, except those related to education, health and social affairs.
Starting from next month, the government will decrease the value added tax to 15 percent, a month after it had raised it from 14.5 to 15.5 percent.
But the financial crisis, which the PNA attributes to lack in donor funding and Israeli restrictions, remains unimproved. The employees who get more than 2,000 Shekels in salary would not be paid full, Fayyad said.
Last week, the PNA asked Israel to review the 1994 Paris agreement which regulates economic relations between the two sides. The agreement bounds Palestinian export, import and most of economic activities by Israeli political and security approvals.
Hussein Al-Sheikh, Palestinian minister of civil affairs, said Tuesday that the PNA rejects Israeli offers to add limited amendments to Paris agreement, insisting that "the entire deal needs to be reviewed."