Dozens of small business owners from the garment industry demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Thursday protesting against lockdown restrictions they say have caused their financial ruin.
Some of the demonstrators set fire to their stock in the middle of the street blocking traffic, as they accused the government of discriminating against them while allowing supermarket chains to sell clothing, toys and books.
Protesters carried signs that read "Pigs go home" and "you are killing us," blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government for preferring international online retailors over local businesses trying to survive.
"I was a life-long voter for Likud," said one man, "and an admirer of the prime minister, but now this government has thrown us into the depth of despair. I don't know who I will vote for next time."
Roee Cohen, the president of the Israel Federation of Small Business Organizations, said there was no justification for closing business in areas that do not have high contagion rates.
"People are being destroyed," he said. "They have no money to buy food and support their families."
Cohen said 60% of the country should have been allowed to operate normally and government decision to lockdown the country amounted to unjustifiable collective punishment that will impact society as well as public health.
"What we see here is anger and despair," Cohen said. "People are seeing their life's work crumble before their eyes and the government fails to respond to their real needs," he said and added and called on the government to allow business in green areas, with low morbidity to operate.
The so-called coronavirus cabinet is meeting to mull an exit from lockdown strategy including gradual lifting of restrictions in areas where coronavirus cases remain low.