Thousands of Israelis filled Robin Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday night in protest of the government’s handling of the carnivirus crisis, outraged by what they said was a serious lack of financial support, mainly for self-employment.
Protesters gave yellow and black signs calling political leaders “disconnected” and “enough”, others calling it an “economic war” and demanding the government release the money.
“We’re tired of hearing promises and press conferences,” organizer Daniel Tinder told CNN. “We want to see action, we want to see money in our accounts like the rest of the world. Health problems are still very serious. The economic problems are even more dire. More deadly than before. ”
After the protest, several protesters tried to block the streets of Tel Aviv and caused damage to the public, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said. Twelve suspects were arrested for causing public unrest and blocking roads, Rosenfeld said, adding that three police officers were lightly injured.
Some topics: According to the Israeli Employment Service, the unemployment rate in Israel rose 21% on Sunday morning, as new unemployment files more than doubled the number of people returning to work on weekends. According to government agencies, 1,250 people have returned to work since Thursday, but 2,63 people have applied for unemployment.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday morning that the government had approved up to 7,500 shekels (approximately, 2,170) to provide “quick assistance” to businessmen and self-employed people in a more rapid move.
“This grant, this grant does not depend on legislation and we have ordered that it be implemented today, the button will be pressed so that the money reaches the accounts in the next few days,” Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet.
With such a fragile economy, Netanyahu has sought to avoid strict social distance restrictions and another complete shutdown instead of using local lockdowns to contain the second wave of coronavirus in Israel.
Israel was on track to control the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, when at least 20 new cases were drowned every day in mid-May at the end of almost the entire national lockdown. But two months later, the number of new coronavirus cases has risen to more than 1,100 a day, raising fears of another lockdown as a more serious economic crisis unfolds.
Tour guide Eraz Darren says protesters like him are annoyed by the abundance of words but the lack of action.
“The government is just working with each other on small things like taxes and noise,” Darren told CNN. “[Netanyahu] Citizens do not see. He only takes care of himself and I get very angry about the time I spend on stupid things. ”
When the first wave of coronavirus infections began in late March, Netanyahu appeared on television several nights to reassure the public that the country was doing well in the fight against Kovid-19 and that everything was under control. His approval rating for coronavirus management has risen further, ting 74% in mid-May when the worst seems to be over. Cases have risen again in recent weeks, with Netanyahu’s approval rating dropping to 46% the previous week.
The crisis and subsequent protests have opened wide the gap between Israel’s national unity government.