Clashes between police and students broke out in Tel Aviv Wednesday evening, as students protesting budget cuts in the higher education system blocked a main street in the city.
Five people were injured during the clashes, including one police officer, a photographer, the student union's chairman, and two other protestors. The five were take to hospital for treatement.
Seven students were detained by police.
After the protest, which organizers reported contained some 10,000 people; the students began marching toward Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv while shouting out slogans, burning tires, and receiving honks of sympathy from passing drivers.
During the demonstration, students held signs saying "we are being slaughtered," "there's no education, there's just unemployment."
Many Israeli celebrities participated in the protest and a letter signed by dozens of artists and addressed to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was read out loud.
Students marching to Rabin Square (photo: Moran Zelikovich)
"We artists and intellectuals appeal to you because we care about the education in Israel. We want to express our support of the students' fight because, if there is no education, there is no state. We find it best to turn to you, the prime minister, and urge you to intervene immediately in order to find a solution to the crisis we are in," said the letter.
The student union's head, Itay Shonshein, told Ynet that the now two-week long struggle would continue, and that the union would continue to close campuses across the country next week as well.
"We will keep fighting until we achieve our goal. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should step down from his ivory tower and meet with the student public immediately, and if he doesn’t, we will continue to protest ad set the whole country on fire," said Shonshein.
Avi Cohen contributed to this report