About 200 disabled people gathered Thursday evening near Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Towers, blocking entry to and exit from the Ayalon Highway at the major Hashalom interchange, resuming the demonstrations demanding that the government give them allotments equal to the minimum wage. The protest caused heavy traffic jams.
The demonstrators are protesting their allotment of less than 3,000 shekels ($840) a month, and that they can expect a maximum of 4,000 shekels only in another three and half years.
One demonstrator said she is paralyzed on her left side due to two strokes. “I love Israel and I think that I and millions of other elderly and disabled people should live in minimal dignity and not think about which of the drugs we need can we afford to buy. I receive food from charities and collect bottles [for deposits].”
By 2021 the basic allowance for the disabled will increase from 2,342 shekels to 3,700 shekels. The allowance had not been updated since 2000, and was only changed in March. A study by the National Insurance Institute indicated that within a decade the poverty rate among the disabled in Israel increased fourfold compared to the general population.