Israel protests in Tel Aviv
Image Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90
On Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets, to voice their frustration over the way Israel President, Benjamin Netanyahu’s handled the economic woes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Tel Aviv on Saturday night, was full of protesters, some with masks, but with no social distancing.
The protests were apparently organized by a group of small business, self-employed workers and performing artists’ group. They claim that the government support that has been promised by President Netanyahu, has not been fulfilled. Workers on salaries have received unemployment benefits, but the self-employed received nothing.
Michal Gaist-Casif, Vice President of a Sound and Lightning Company, said, ‘I have 40 workers with no income, no money.’
‘We need the government to pump in money until we’re back to normal. We haven’t been working since mid-March through April, May, June and July, and August is looking to be a catastrophe.’
Another protestor, Daniel Tieder, said, ‘ We are not working already nearly five months and unfortunately most of us have not received any compensation from the Israeli government and this is really a tragedy.’
At around 2am, a massive fight occurred between protesters and police officers in Tel Aviv’s Habima Sqaure. This resulted in three lightly wounded officers. Around 19 protesters were arrested, after the rally for blocking major streets, vandalized properties and for the brawl with police officers.
In mid-March Israel imposed a strict lockdown that continued until late May. Unemployment in the country surged to 20% and Netanyahu’s popularity has now plummeted over his mishandling of the relief. A recent poll held by Midgam Research and Consulting on Channel 12 found out that only 46% of the voters agree with the way Netanyahu handled the crisis, down from 74% in May.
Isreal has seen a spike in new cases on Friday, when 1,500 cases were reported. As of Sunday, the total number of cases is 37,464, while 354 lost their lives.