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Protesters block major junctions
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Protests in Tel Aviv
Photo: Yaron Brener
Likud minister: Bibi not a true leader
Prime minister comes under fire from his own party for handling of housing crisis; meanwhile protesters from Tel Aviv march towards Netanyahu's residence, calling out 'People demand social justice' and 'Bibi resign'

Prime minister under fire: A senior Likud minister slammed his party's chairman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling Ynet that he was "not behaving like a leader" in the wake of nationwide protests over housing and medicine.

 

"He is just being dragged along and responding to occurrences with panic. Instead of turning the tables on ministers who drag their feet in solving the social issues at hand, he is letting things pass him by," said the minister, who has up until now proved loyal to Netanyahu.

 

 

"A true leader would chastise the ministers, force them to get back to him with solutions immediately, and not conclude meetings without results or agreements."

 

The minister, who fears the Likud will pay a political price for the social battles, added, "The public wants a leadership that acts and doesn't stall. Netanyahu must come to his senses – now."

 

Watch police, protesters clash in Jerusalem

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Protests continue

Meanwhile about 500 protesters from Tel Aviv's 'tent city' marched to Jerusalem and arrived at the Knesset Monday evening. They sat down and called for Netanyahu's resignation.

 

The protesters called out, "Bibi resign, we don't want you anymore" and "The people demand social justice". No clashes with police were reported, and protesters attempted to enlist them to the struggle as well, calling out, "Mr. Officer, you're worth more too."


Protesters block Netanyahu's street (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

In addition, some 200 protesters in Beersheba have organized a march to the teachers' center in the city. Bedouin residents of the illegal village of al-Arakib, which has been demolished a few times, have joined them.

 

Earlier the prime minister repeated Sunday's call for party members to get on board and offer solutions for the housing crisis. Minister Michael Eitan, also from the Likud, answered that he wasn't sure those spearheading the plan for solving the crisis "know where they're going".

 

In light of the housing and doctors' protests, Interior Minister Eli Yishai sent a letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin suggesting that the Knesset recess – scheduled for August 3 until the end of October – be canceled.

 

"The State of Israel is undergoing one of the worst crises in its history – beginning with the rise in consumer prices and the real estate crisis all the way to the crisis in social medicine," Yishai wrote in his letter to Rivlin.

 

Netanyahu has so far responded to the crisis by postponing his trip to Poland, which had been scheduled for next week. His office says he "preferred to remain in Israel in order to "focus on passing legislation regarding reforms in the housing market, and with focused moves for the students, discharged soldiers, and young couples".

 

Ilana Curel and Omri Efraim contributed to this report

 

 


First published: 25.07.11, 19:55
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