More Than 300,000 in Israel Protest High Cost of Living

Netanyahu camp downplays police estimate; protesters chant 'The people demand social justice'

By Yanir Yagna and Haaretz, Jonathan Lis, Ilan Lior and Eli Ashkenazi

Published August 07, 2011.

Over 300,000 people marched together in the mass protest that took place across Israel on Saturday, according to police estimates. It was the third consecutive week of mass rallies across the country against the high cost of living and other social and economic inequities.

Approximatley 300,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv, 20,000 participated in Jerusalem, 3,000 in Kiryat Shmona, 5,000 in Modi’in,1,000 in Hod Hasharon and 1,000 in Eilat. However, those close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the media had inflated the numbers of participants in the protests.

In Tel Aviv, people marched from Habima Square, near the tent city on Rothschild Boulevard, to the Kirya defense compund on Kaplan Street.

Protesters chanted “The people demand social justice” and “An entire generation demands a future.”

A number of signs that were hung on Kaplan Street read “Resign, Egypt is here.” “Young people of Israel, our time has come,” said National Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmuli at the Tel Aviv rally.

This marked the third consecutive week a rally has been held in Tel Aviv. Smaller demonstrations also occurred in Ashkelon (more than 500 protesters), Dimona (around 200 protesters) and Eilat (1,000 protesters).

Around 1,000 protesters blocked the Shomrim Junction in the Jezreel Valley. The rally was held under the slogan, “The northern periphery is awakening.”

Police closed Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv off to traffic early on Saturday in anticipation of the rally, and will only reopen the main avenue at 4:00 A.M. on Sunday. Several other major roads in the central part of the city were blocked during the demonstration.

Read more at Haaretz.com.



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