Israelis to protest social inequality
Israelis march during a protest against the cost of living in Israel, in central Tel Aviv, July 23, 2011.
Thousands of Israelis are set to stage a demonstration in Israel to protest at the high cost of living and social inequality in the occupied lands.

Israelis to protest social inequality

Israelis to protest social inequalityReviewed by مرتضی سرمدیان on Jul 30Rating:

Fresh rallies are planned for Saturday in several Israeli cities including Tel Aviv against the economic policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

There have already been weeks of anti-regime demonstrations in Israel with many people arrested during the protests. The demonstrators say they can no longer afford the sky-rocketing housing prices, which have jumped by 50 percent in recent years.

They are also calling on the regime to curb the high costs of fuel, food and healthcare. The protests have exposed a deep middle-class frustration over the economy, presenting Netanyahu with his biggest domestic challenge yet.

On Friday, hundreds of people also held a demonstration in Tel Aviv, warning that they would block roads all over Israel on August 1 if the cabinet of Netanyahu fails to meet their demands.

After weeks of widespread protests against high housing prices — which are evaluated as the largest social protests in Israel since the 1970s — the Israeli premier announced a series of measures to address the housing crisis last week.

However, Netanyahu’s plan failed to end public outrage as his move was deemed to be insufficient.

Netanyahu’s plan included the construction of 10,000 new student dormitory units for rental at reduced rates and a 50 percent subsidy on public transport for students outside city centers. It also included a discount on the price of land for construction companies building affordable homes for purchase and the building of flats for long-term rental at reduced cost.

But protesters accused Netanyahu of trying to bribe the students in order to split the protest movement.

According to a poll published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, 87 percent of Israelis support the protests over high rents and housing costs.

The survey also showed that Netanyahu’s popularity has fallen to 32 percent from 51 percent two months ago with more than half of those surveyed being unhappy with his response to the housing crisis.

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