Dozens of people with disabilities and rights activists blocked the entrance to Jerusalem and its iconic Chords Bridge for about an hour Monday morning, in protest over inadequate funding and benefits, amid ongoing negotiations with the Finance Ministry.
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The protesters claim that the government is failing to adequately implement the Disability Law. The demonstrations, which have been underway for several weeks, are also fueled by what rights groups describe as the Finance Ministry's failure to provide them with legislatively mandated grants to the tune of hundreds of millions of shekels.
Disabled rights groups' demands, among others, are that children with disabilities receive payments and benefits in the same amounts and to the same extent as adults, including with respect to pension, social security, and caregiver support.
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Many are furious with Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman who has not met with disabled rights groups, despite having previously expressed support for the protest and even having included one of the protest's leaders, Alex Friedman, on his party's Knesset ticket. That only members of the ministry's budget department are involved in the ongoing negotiations has further incensed them.
For his part, Lieberman's office claims that the minister is busy working towards approving the state budget.