Tel Aviv municipality tows protesters' caravan from tent city
National Union of Israeli Students vice chairman: The caravan was parked where it was to show Netanyahu we aren't going anywhere.
The Tel Aviv municipality towed on Monday a caravan parked by the National Union of Israeli Students near the Rothschild Blvd. tent city, hours after officials stuck a demolition order on the structure.
“The caravan was parked where it was to send a message to Netanyahu,” Ofri Raviv, vice chairman of the National Union of Israeli Students said Monday, adding, “the struggle isn’t over. We are protesting the committee that was only created to buy time and we brought the caravan in to show that we aren’t going anywhere.”
Gilad Arditi from the Student Union at Tel Aviv University accused the government of mishandling of the recent wave of social protests that have swept the country, saying that by appointing a panel of ministers “in an irregular way, it gives the impression that a long struggle lays ahead."
The Student Union representative continued, saying “we plan to stay in our tents for a long time, and therefore we have created a base for ourselves.”
The tent city on Rothschild, one of Tel Aviv’s main arteries, will celebrate its one-month anniversary next week. The Tel Aviv municipality has thus far not touched the tents, however, complaints from local residents are on the rise as are the sanitary issues incurred by the makeshift housing.
The towing of the caravan comes a day after Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai told reporters at a press conference that the tent city set up on Rothschild Boulevard in protest of high housing prices has a limited lifespan and will eventually come to an end.
Huldai also did not rule out the possibility of the municipality eventually evacuating the protesters.
“The protests have a limited lifespan,” Huldai said, adding “this is not for generations to come – do you know any cities where all its streets are full of tents? This is a protest, and all protests eventually end.”
The Tel Aviv mayor, speaking at a conference to launch an initiative to hand out housing grants to students who will live in south Tel Aviv and Jaffa, said “from the start, we have tried to allow protests on the one hand, and keep public order on the other. The fact is we have not touched the tent city.”