Some 200 Housing Protesters Block Road Opposite Netanyahu's Residence in Jerusalem

About 100 Tel Aviv activists join Jerusalem demonstration; hundreds march in Tel Aviv, Be'er Sheva to protest housing crisis.

Some 200 activists protesting high housing prices marched Monday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, and several dozen protesters then proceeded to block Aza road across from Netanyahu's residence.

Housing protests have gained momentum in several cities across Israel, and activists from the Tel Aviv protest joined the Jerusalem protesters in marching to the Prime Minister's Residence while shouting slogans such as "Welfare State Now" and "We Want Justice, Not Charity."

Housing protest in Jerusalem - Reuters - July 25, 2011
Israelis march near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem as they take part in a protest against rising property prices, July 25, 2011.Reuters

Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv hundreds of people were marching from Habima Square toward central government offices where they intended on carrying on their protest. During the march, the housing protest merged with the doctors' protest, who are striking for better conditions.

Moreover, hundreds of students and residents in Be'er Sheva were marching in protest of high housing prices, and residents of unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev also joined the demonstration.

Earlier Monday, Netanyahu decided to cancel his scheduled visit to Poland this week. Netanyahu's cancellation was likely caused as a result of the rising housing crisis in Israel and the mass protests that have sprouted in various cities. Netanyahu most probably feared that his trip abroad would have amplified the public protest, in which demonstrators have largely blamed Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.

Dozens of activists blocked major roads in Haifa, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva as part of the housing crisis protests earlier Monday. In central Haifa, scuffles broke out between activists and drivers who were forced to stop. Eight activists were arrested in Paris Square in Jerusalem after refusing to clear the road.

Dozens of activists also blocked a road at the entrance to the Knesset. Five were arrested and one police officer was lightly injured.

Meanwhile, a new Facebook protest page went up Monday calling for a general strike on August 1. So far more than 3,700 people said they will participate. The page was created by social activist Zvika Basor, a 36-year-old Givatayim resident and father of a one-year-old baby. He wrote that he bought an apartment "with a crazy 30-year mortgage," and explained why he decided to go on strike: "I am sick of it. I can't keep going to work every day as if nothing is happening, pretending that if I work hard enough I'll be able to provide a decent life for my family and myself."

Another Facebook protest page created Monday called for a "tent city strollers march." The organizers called on fathers, mothers and single parents to march in central Tel Aviv on Thursday with their children and strollers.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people marched in downtown Tel Aviv to protest rising housing prices, the first major demonstration in a movement calling attention to Israel's soaring cost of living.