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Israel Protesters Plan National Strike

Social justice protesters in Israel say they will hold a national strike at the end of the month.

The strike announced late Monday night and set for Nov. 1, and mass rallies scheduled for Oct. 29, are being organized to express dissatisfaction with the report by the Trajtenberg Committee proposing solutions to Israel’s socioeconomic problems.

On Sunday, the Cabinet approved the Trajtenberg report by a vote of 21 to 8.

The 14-member committee of academics and economists, which was chaired by Manuel Trajtenberg of the Israel Council for Higher Education and a former Tel Aviv University economics professor, was appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following mass protests last summer to look at the problems facing Israel and come up with solutions.

The late October rally will be the first since a mass demonstration at the end of the summer that brought out some 400,000 people throughout Israel.

On Tuesday, Israel’s Labor Union chief announced a labor dispute, which will allow the union to launch a general strike in two weeks, coinciding with the social justice movement’s plan.

The strike would include airports, ports, train services, government ministries and local authorities, and also could include the national teacher’s union. The action is being called over the plight of contract workers, according to reports and has the support of social protest leader Dafni Leef.

The announcements come a day after hundreds of medical residents resigned in a labor dispute that has wreaked havoc on the nation’s medical system. The number of residents who did not show up for work Tuesday hovered near 500, according to reports. The residents are dissatisfied with a nine-year agreement signed recently between the government and the Israel Medical Association.

The national Labor Court was expected to make a decision late Tuesday on the previous day’s request by the state prosecutor to issue an injunction against the resignations and order the residents back to work as they negotiate for a solution.

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