Israeli Court Orders Tel Aviv Municipality to Stop Dismantling Protest Tents

Court injunction comes amid mounting criticism over the city's Mayor Ron Huldai for move against protest tents; Huldai: The city isn't against the protest.

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A Tel Aviv magistrate's court issued an injunction early against the continued dismantling of the city's protest tents on Thursday, amid mounting criticism against the municipality's decision to move against tent concentrations.

The move came after approximately 100 social justice protesters demonstrated in front of the entrance of Tel Avivs City Hall Wednesday in response to the municipalitys attempt to evacuate the tent cities which were established in different neighborhoods in July. Thirty protesters were forcefully arrested.

Protesters dismantling the tent encampment on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard Sunday.Credit: Nir Kafri

Demonstrators also assembled several tents near the entrance to city hall, stated that they would not evacuate the tent cities, and called for Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai to quit.

Responding to mounting criticism, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said that the city was not against the protest, but was interested in a drastic downsize in the size of Tel Aviv's tent cities.

"It's about time that they [protest leaders] understand that this thing has exhausted itself, and I am a protest supporter. I'm a social-dmocrat," Huldai said, adding that the activists were not evacuated, only offered that they regroup as discussion circles in various locations in the city.

Concerning the violent protest near city hall, the Tel Aviv mayor that those "who act out violently are not those who are seeking out a solution."

On Wednesday, Israel Police began dismantling social protest encampment sites also Holon, less than two months after activists set up the tent cities to demonstrate against the high cost of living in the country.

Holon municipality inspectors, accompanied by a large police force, arrived at the social protest encampment in the city's Jesse Cohen neighborhood mid-morning on Wednesday and started to dismantle improvised wooden structures that were built there by activists.

Unlike in Tel Aviv, where the tent city movement began, many of the activists at the Jesse Cohen site are homeless.

"They'll destroy and we'll bring wood and build the structures again," said neighborhood committee chairman Nissan Zacharia