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The rally
Photo: Ben Kelmer
Social protest makes a comeback
Hundreds rally in Tel Aviv to protest planned hike it petrol, electricity prices. Many predict 'social protest tidal wave' this summer

"From slavery to freedom" – That was the banner under which hundreds of people rallied in Tel Aviv Saturday night, to march in protest of that high cost of living in Israel.

 

The march was staged mere hours before yet another price hike in petrol and electricity prices takes effect.

 

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The protesters gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, holding signs reading: "Israel demands social justice," "Netanyahu's 10 plagues," "Bibi must be replaced" and "We demand affordable housing."

 

Kadima Knesset members Yoel Hasson, Rachel Adatto, Ronit Tirosh, Nachman Shai and Nino Abesadze were also in attendance.


תהלוכת המחאה, הערב בתל אביב (צילום: בן קלמר)

Protesters march in Tel Aviv (Photo:Ben Kelmer)

 

Many of the participants pledged that the string of social protests that marked the summer of 2011 will be seen again this summer, predicting a "tidal wave of protests."

 

"We won't allow this erosion of the public by the government anymore," one protester told Ynet.

 

At midnight Saturday, electricity prices will ad 8.3%, while a liter of 95 octane gasoline at full service stations will cost NIS 8 ($2.16); an increase of NIS 0.05 from February.

 

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz commented Saturday that he believes Israelis would rather pay more for gas in support of the sanctions on Tehran, rather than face the risk of a nuclear Iran.

 

"Petrol prices are going up because of the government. It's not Iran – it's Netanyahu," MK Hasson said.

 

Newly-elected Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz blasted Netanyahu on Thursday, as news on the coming increase in petrol prices broke: "The prime minister crossed yet another red line… PM Netanyahu is robbing and trampling over the citizens of Israel.

 

"Petrol prices are only one example of this government's indifferent policies. We will put an end to it."

 

Political sources told Ynet that the government is "very disturbed" by the prospect of a renewed wave of social protest.

 

 

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