Palestine

Thousands of Israelis protest against austerity measures

Baqeri_d20130714044449110Thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest against Tel Aviv’s austerity measures and demand social justice.

The demonstrators, who were angry with the high cost of living, blocked Ayalon Freeway in Tel Aviv late on Saturday.

Protesters carried placards that read “It’s time to tax the rich” and “Bibi + Lapid = Morsi, same revolution.”

The protest rally marked the second anniversary of the large social protests that hit Israel.

The protests initially was triggered by soaring housing prices, but quickly evolved into a sweeping expression of rage against a wide array of economic issues, including the cost of food, gasoline and education.

The organizers of the Saturday protest hope that the rally will gain momentum in the coming weeks.

“We do not have another two years to wait. We are dealing with an aggressive policy that leads to poverty on the one hand and brain drain on the other. This is a good enough reason to resume our protest,” said Israeli social activist Daphni Leef.

High taxes and low salaries have had adverse effects on the lives of Israelis, specifically the middle class, in recent years.

The 2013 budget of the Tel Aviv regime has also hit Israelis deep in their pockets with raised taxes and slashed benefits.

Discontented Israelis almost regularly take to the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities to protest against the regime’s economic plans and the painful austerity measures, which would raise income and value-added taxes and cut welfare benefits.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Israelis face high rates of poverty.

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