Tel Aviv rocked by mass demos

August 5, 2012 - 13:50
Thousands of Israelis have held demonstrations in Tel Aviv to protest against social inequality and the government’s austerity measures.
Late on Saturday, protesters held demonstrations against a recent package of sweeping austerity measures that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said were necessary to reduce the budget deficit and protect the economy. 
The protesters are angry about the high cost of living, especially the cost of food, gasoline, education, and healthcare. They also complained about “social injustice” and the widening chasm between the rich and the poor. 
“This isn't only a young people's campaign,” said students' union chairman and social activist Itzik Shmuli at a press conference on Friday. “It's the campaign of everyone who bears the economic, social, and defense burden…” 
One of the protest leaders, Stav Shaffir, who participated in the press conference said, “It's time to go to an all-out war… The games are over.” 
Saturday’s demonstrations are believed to be the largest of several protests held over the past few months to protest against Israel's handling of the economy and its social policies. 
Netanyahu, who has been facing calls to step down, has formed a committee to address the protesters' demands. But the demonstrators say no single concrete step has been taken so far.
Netanyahu has also ruled out the idea of spending from outside the budget for economic reforms, a response that Israeli protesters say disillusioned them. 
Many of the demonstrators are also opposed to Israel's illegal expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The organizers of the demonstrations have been using social networking websites to rally support for the demonstrations and have vowed that the protests will continue until their demands are met.
(Source: Agencies)