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West Bank cities erupt in violent protests over escalating prices

Bernat Armangue / AP

Palestinian demonstrators throw shoes towards a banner with a picture of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, (not pictured), during a protest against the high cost of living in the West Bank city of Hebron, on Sept. 10. Elsewhere in the West Bank, demonstrators halted traffic with burning tires, schools were closed and store owners shuttered their shops. It was the most serious unrest since the demonstrations erupted last week.

Darren Whiteside / Reuters

Palestinian protesters throw shoes at a banner of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad during a demonstration against high living costs and the government in the West Bank city of Hebron on Sept. 10. Palestinian youths attacked a local police station and other government buildings in Hebron on Monday as protests against the rising cost of living in the occupied West Bank turned increasingly violent.

Abed Hashlamoun / EPA

Israeli soldiers out on patrol at first light in the divided West Bank city of Hebron, on Sept. 10.

Mohammed Ballas / AP

A Palestinian youth covers his face during a protest against the high cost of living in the West Bank town of Jenin, on Sept. 10. Palestinian demonstrators fed up with high prices and unpaid salaries shuttered shops, halted traffic with burning tires and closed schools throughout the West Bank on Monday in the largest show of popular discontent with the governing Palestinian Authority in its 18-year history.

Reuters -- Palestinian youths attacked a local police station and other government buildings in Hebron on Monday as protests against the rising cost of living in the occupied West Bank turned increasingly violent.

Several thousand people hurled stones at the Palestinian police station in the city after earlier clashes targeted municipal offices and fire trucks, witnesses said. Riot police fired tear gas to try to chase away the crowds. Several people were wounded, hospital officials said.

Stone throwing was also reported in Bethlehem and Nablus, while demonstrators set tires alight on main roads into another major West Bank city -- the administrative capital, Ramallah.

Small-scale protests sprung up last week following a five percent hike in fuel costs, but Monday's violence suggested the spontaneous movement could spiral out of control, posing a major problem for the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA).

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Darren Whiteside / Reuters

Palestinians security officers stand in front of protesters during demonstration against high living costs and the government in the West Bank city of Hebron on Sept. 10.

Bernat Armangue / AP

Palestinian demonstrators protect themselves from tear gas fired by Palestinian security forces (unseen), during a protest against the high cost of living in the West Bank city of Hebron, on, Sept. 10.

Abed Hashlamoun / EPA

Workers inside the municipal building in the West Bank city of Hebron, on Sept. 10, where windows had been broken by Palestinians protesting over the increasing cost of living. Palestinians called a general strike in the West Bank protesting the high cost of living.

Alaa Badarneh / EPA

Palestinian protesters throw stones at police attempting to control the streets in the West Bank City of Nablus on Sept. 10. According to reports, some 25 policeman and protesters were wounded in the clashes. Cities across the West Bank ground to a halt as transport unions called a mass general strike in protest over rising petrol prices.

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