By Nick Clark
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Mass strikes and protests over tax rise force out prime minister Hani Mulki in Jordan

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Issue 2607
Former prime minister of Jordan Hani Mulki (right)
Former prime minister of Jordan Hani Mulki (right) (Pic: Ministério das Relações Exteriores/Twitter)

Mass strikes and protests in Jordan forced prime minister Hani Mulki to resign on Monday.

His resignation came after days of protests and a general strike against a tax hike.

The protests—the largest in years—have quickly become the focus for widespread anger at poverty, austerity measures and pro-market economic reforms.

A general strike on Wednesday of last week involved thousands of workers from 33 trade unions—and was followed by days of mass protests.

They were sparked by the government’s plan to raise income tax for some of the poorest people in Jordan. It’s the latest of pro-market measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund, which have also included bread price rises.

Protesters have chanted, “We will not kneel,” demanded Mulki resigns, blocked roads and occasionally clashed with police.

The protests forced the government to retreat from planned energy and fuel price rises. But the move failed to quell the anger, leading to Mulki’s resignation.

It was not clear whether the tax hike had been scrapped as Socialist Worker went to press.

Unions had planned a general strike for this Wednesday before Mulki resigned.

Israeli airstrikes batter Gaza

Israel pounded Gaza with airstrikes and murdered yet more Palestinian protesters last week.

Israeli missiles struck 15 locations in Gaza on Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

It followed a barrage of strikes on Gaza earlier last week.

Israel said the latest strikes were in response to rockets fired from Gaza. The rockets were said to have been fired in reaction to the killing of 21 year old paramedic Razan Ashraf al-Najjar.

She was shot in the stomach by Israeli soldiers on Friday as she treated injured Palestinian protesters along the fence that separates Gaza from Israel.

Some 119 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces since protests began in late March.

Palestine supporters in Britain were set to protest against the killings on Tuesday of this week.

It comes ahead of a visit by Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.

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