A demonstration for cheaper housing in Tel Aviv Saturday night led to 23 arrests, including the leader of the group, Stav Shaffir.
The 600-man protest took place in the Gan Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv. Police called the gathering of protesters which had encamped on the sight illegal, and intended to evacuate the site on Sunday morning. However, because protestors set fire to garbage bins and blocked intersections at Hagana, Yigal Allon, and Lod streets, police moved in Saturday night to disperse the crowd.
Organizers of the Hatikva encampment argued that their site became not only a socio-political statement about public displeasure over the cost of housing, but became a home to disenfranchised Israelis. “The Hatikva tent encampment has served as a home for the past six months for single mothers, families, parents, children, and the elderly, homeless and the direct victims of the establishment’s unsympathetic and irresponsible policies,” organizers said in a press release. They demanded that the government provide alternative housing options.
Some protest leaders criticized the arrests, suggesting police would not have arrested them if they had been ultra-orthodox Hareidi or “price tag settlers” from Judea and Samaria.
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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