Nationwide protestors gather in Tel Aviv: Tens of thousands of Israelis angry over skyrocketing housing prices hit Tel Aviv's streets Saturday evening for a march and rally, as part of the "middle class' day of fury."
Following the rally, hundreds of activists blocked the intersection of Ibn Gvirol and Eliezer Kaplan streets, witnesses reported.
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Speaking at the rally, housing protest organizer Daphni Leef said: "I'm shocked by what's happening here…we are not alone. I never thought that by giving up my apartment I'd find a home."
"We're in the street and wish to stay here. This is the people's protest…a roof over our heads is the basis that everyone must have. There are people here who are fighting for every penny in order to struggle for a roof," she said. "We have to demand what we deserve, because under the circumstances we won't have any dreams. There is no time to dream when one has to pay rent and a mortgage. We want affordable housing for everyone, and we need to make some noise to get solutions."
During the speeches, the mention of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's name drew loud boos from the demonstrators, while Leef's speech was met with enthusiastic applause.
Another protest organizer, Yigal Rambam, addressed the prime minister directly in his speech, saying: "Mr. Netanyahu, we shall have to part as friends, we're parting ways; you're fired!" Meanwhile, those in attendance were chanting "Bibi go home."
Shoah survivors join protest
Earlier, housing protest organizers said that their goal is to "tell the prime minister we're disappointed and demand that he come up with an immediate, thorough solution to the major housing distressed."
Protestors carrying signs and flags began to gather at Habima Square Saturday evening, where hundreds of tents had been set up in protest in the past week. The head of the protest, Dapni Leef, led the march alongside elderly Israelis and Holocaust survivors expressing their support for the protesters.
Protestors hit streets in Tel Aviv (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Meanwhile, doctors and medical interns were also protesting in the city after a 110-day strike that has not yet led to a breakthrough in negotiations with the government.
A large group of dairy farmers also joined the housing protestors with signs slamming dairy product prices and government inaction on the issue. Yoav Zur, a dairy farmer from Be'er Tuvia, told Ynet: "It all started with the cottage cheese protest and flowed along to the housing protest…we arrived to show our solidarity with the just struggle of all those people who are slamming the housing distress."
Several major Tel Aviv streets were close off by police ahead of a rally planned for 10 pm at the Tel Aviv Museum plaza.
Meanwhile, organizers contacted some 20 tent protests nationwide and were expecting dozens of buses carrying protestors from various cities to arrive in Tel Aviv.
"The time has come for the government to wake up and stop working against the public," one of the organizers, Roi Noiman, said. "We're expecting people to arrive by bus, by car, by train and on foot."
Roi Kais contributed to the story
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