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Tens of thousands march across Israel for affordable housing

(Xinhua)

09:10, September 04, 2011

Some 40,000 Israelis take part in a rally asking for lower living costs at Jerusalem's Paris Square, Sept. 3, 2011. Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the street on Saturday night across the country in demand for affordable housing, education and medical care.(Xinhua/Yin Dongxun)

JERUSALEM, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the street on Saturday night across the country in demand for affordable housing, education and medical care.

Over 40,000 people took part in the rally which was one of the biggest non-political demonstration in Israel, according to local media, the quantity of protestors kept growing from several thousands to about half million.

The Israeli police estimated that some 250,000 people marched in Tel Aviv. Another 40,000 protestors protested near the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, expressing dissatisfaction over the high cost of living. Marches took place in several other cities across the country including Eilat, Nahariya, Hadera, Herzliya, which had several thousands of participators respectively.

"Tonight we make history again. From now on the government knows that at any given moment Israelis can return to the streets and must therefore deliver the goods," one of the original organizers, the chairman of the Student Union, Itzik Shmuli was quoted by Ynet as saying.

The protesters, many of them young Israelis disgruntled with a growing inability to buy or rent a home, held a "tent protest" in the streets of Tel Aviv and several other major cities in July.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined emergency measures geared at alleviating the housing distress in the same month. However, the plan failed to subdue public outrage over soaring prices, with protest leaders vowing to step up actions.

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