Some 12,000 protesters rallied against Finance Minister Yair Lapid's
in six locations across Israel
Protests were held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Modiin, Rishon Lezion and Ashdod.
Meanwhile, some 300 demonstrators gathered outside the home of Minister of Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom in Ramat Gan to protest the plan to export natural gas. They blocked an intersection as well as one of the exits to the Ayalon Highway. Three protestors were arrested.
Protesters briefly blocked Ayalon Highway (Photo: Benny Doutsh)
In Tel Aviv, some 10,000 people held a protest march which kicked off in Habima Square. The protesters carried signs reading "Where's the money? With the tycoons, dummy" and "Look us in the eyes tomorrow."
In Jerusalem, 200 protesters marched from the capital's Gan Hasus to the prime minister's residence and carried signs which read "the people demand social justice."
|Protest against Lapid and Netanyahu (Video: Motti Kimchi, Assi Cohen)|
More than 200 people took to the streets in Haifa and blocked an intersection. "Workers not slaves" and "Lapid, I'm on fire" were some of the slogans written on the protesters' signs.
Protesters in Tel Aviv (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
One of the protesters, social activist Ofer Barkan, said: "The January elections were the biggest lie Israel has seen in years. Whoever expected change got a punch in the face."
He called on the government to "take the money from the tycoons and natural gas and lay off the people's backs."
"Had we closed our eyes, you would think it was Bibi talking – not Lapid," one organizer said of an interview the finance minister gave on Friday.
Photo: Motti Kimchi
Daphni Leef, one of the leaders of the protest, said: "The Yesh Atid
and Habayit Hayehudi
parties would not have gotten all their votes had it not been for the social protest. It is our responsibility to go out there and do whatever we can to make them stop digging deep into our pockets and start to impose real corporate tax."
Protest in Jerusalem (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Alon-Li Green, another organizer said, "Students, young families, people who can’t make ends meet found nothing new with this budget, no reason for hope. (Two years ago) we protested to save our country and now we learn that the new finance minister is a slightly more photogenic rerun of the previous prime minister and his policy."
Photo: Gil Yohanan
On Monday, the cabinet is set to discuss the proposed 2013 budget which includes a NIS 6.5 billion cut in the government's budget. An additional NIS 18 billion are set to be cut in 2014. The proposal further aims to raise income tax by 1.5%, and the VTA by 1% to 18%.
The Finance Ministry also plans to raise taxes on a variety of luxury goods. Corporate tax will rise by 1% to 26%.
Gilad Morag, Ahiya Raved, Noam (Dabul) Dvir and Boaz Fyler contributed to this report
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