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Israeli protests grow

Aug. 12, 2011 at 9:50 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Parents, doctors, students and other Israelis turned out in force to participate in nationwide marches for better living conditions, observers said.

In Tel Aviv, tent-dwellers angry about high housing costs marched from the Ichilov Medical Center toward the city's shopping district, Kikar HaMedina, and were joined by medical interns and young parents Thursday, Ynetnews.com reported Friday.

The high cost of living, healthcare and the costs of raising children were among other issues, protesters said.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz was at a tent city to present his plan to reform the country's public transportation system but was forced to leave after tensions flared, Ynetnews said.

The tent-city protesters, who have demanded affordable housing and other essential goods, issued a document this week calling for a new socioeconomic agenda topped by "minimizing social inequities," The New York Times reported.

"What is keeping people on the streets is the question that if we are all having a hard time and we are all working and paying taxes, who is making the profits?" said Daphni Leef, a filmmaker who began the protest movement with a Facebook posting. "We know there are certain families that have a lot of money and a lot of influence and there is no transparency. People feel deceived."

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