Tens of Thousands Take to the Streets in Social Protests Across Israel

Social demonstrations have taken place six straight Saturday nights; Noam Shalit participates in Tel Aviv rally.

Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets on Saturday night to participate in demonstrations protesting the high cost of living in Israel.

In Tel Aviv, around 10,000 protesters marched from Habima Square to the intersection of Ibn Gvirol and Shaul Hamelech streets, where a rally was held.

Noam Shalit, the father of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, participated in the Tel Aviv rally.

'Social justice also means returning to the values upon which a generation of fighters were educated: Leave no soldier behind," Noam Shalit said.

In Jerusalem, around 2,000 protesters marched to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence. The rally was held under the banner "Protest creates reality, we are building a just society".

In Rishon Letzion, around 4,500 people demonstrated, according to a police estimate.

Tel Aviv protest August 27, 2011 (Daniel Bar-On)
Daniel Bar-On

Around 1,000 people took part in a protest near Kibbutz Ma'anit and around 500 in a protest in Katzrin.

Stav Sapir, one of the leaders of the protest movement, told Channel 2: "There is nothing to be dissapointed about. The whole concept of this matter is to go out and do. This is the sixth [Saturday night] that we have taken to the streets and in my view it is a success that people are still coming to do this. Everyone is talking about a million-person march next week. In my view, this is terrific, this is a success."

The movement against the high cost of living in Israel began in mid-July, when tents were set up on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard to protest apartment prices.

Since then, tent cities have popped up throughout Israel and demonstrations have brought millions of Israelis onto the streets.

Tel Aviv protest August 27, 2011 (Oded Yaron)
Oded Yaron

In the largest protest, 350,000 Israelis took part in demonstrations across the country on Saturday, August 6.

The largest demonstrations have been held in Tel Aviv, but smaller protests have taken place from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south.

Last Saturday, a low-profile, silent demonstration was held in Tel Aviv, due to the terrorist attacks that had occurred two days earlier on the Israel-Egypt border and the escalation of rocket fire in the south.