Some 100 people with disabilities are protesting outside the government buildings in Tel Aviv, demanding to raise their disability allowance to equal minimum wage.
The protesters blocked one of Tel Aviv's biggest intersections—Kaplan-Givat HaTahmoshet outside the Azrieli Mall—during the evening rush hour and are expected to stay there until 9pm.
Police said other main roads in the area will be closed during the protest: Kaplan St will be closed from the east between Ibn Gabirol Street and the Begin-Kaplan intersection; Givat HaTahmoshet St will be closed from east to west from Yigal Alon St; the entry and exit ramps to the Ayalon Highway (Highway 20) will be closed at the HaShalom Interchange on the north and south; Begin St will be closed on the north and south.
Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Welfare Minister Haim Katz and coalition chairman David Bitan to discuss the disability allowance.
The three agreed to establish a team to determine what the increase would be. The team will be headed by Prof. Avi Simhon, the head of the National Economic Council, and will include representatives from the Finance, Welfare and Health ministries as well as the National Insurance Institute.
The team is expected to recommend to the Finance and Welfare ministries to significantly raise the disability allowance to NIS 4,000 ($1,110) in a gradual manner.
At present, the disability allowance is NIS 2,342 ($650) a month. The committee is expected to recommend to raise the allowance to some NIS 3,000 ($835) in the first stage and later, in several stages, up to some NIS 4,000.
The disabled protesters, meanwhile, demand to raise their allowance to equal minimum wage—at present some NIS 5,000 ($1,390), but is expected to increase in 2018.
Last week, some 50 protesters blocked the area around the Chords Bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem, demanding to raise the disability allowance and receive aid in buying medicine.