Timeline: Israel Protests

Chronology of notable events during eight weeks of social justice demonstrations.

Israelis take part in demonstration calling for lower living costs in Jerusalem on September 3 [Reuters]

The protests erupted in mid-July, as Israel became gripped by a major protest movement for more affordable housing, education and health care:

June 2011: A call to boycott cottage cheese, a staple of the Israeli diet takes off on Facebook, after manufacturers announce a sharp price rise. The price dropped following the protest.

July 17: Hundreds of young people, backed by thousands of sympathisers, set up tent camps on Rothschild Boulevard, in Tel-Aviv’s posh central district, to protest at high rents.

July 23: Tens of thousands of Israelis from across the country march in Tel Aviv in support of protesters.

July 26: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu unveils reforms, including building 50,000 homes and subsidising public transport for students. Activists reject his proposals as not enough, and vow to carry on demonstrating.

July 30: Demonstrations spread to 10 cities, with hundreds of thousands of Israelis taking to the streets to protest against the high cost of living. More than 100,000 demonstrate in downtown Tel Aviv, as thousands more march in Jerusalem, in the northern city of Haifa and in Nazareth.

July 31: Netanyahu orders the creation of a task force charged with finding ways to alleviate the high cost of living.

August 1: Some 150,000 Israeli municipal workers observe a one-day strike, throwing their weight behind the nationwide protest movement.

August 3: Activists from Israel’s social protest movement react furiously after parliament passes a housing bill that they say will favour the wealthy and endanger the environment.

August 6: 300,000 people pour onto streets across Israel to demand “social justice”. The demonstration becomes the biggest such social protest in the country’s history.

August 9: A committee appointed by Netanyahu to study possible changes holds its first meeting. The prime minister is quoted as saying: “I understand my views need to change”, as young Israelis voice frustration over their socio-economic future.

August 10: Protesters continue to highlight spending on settlements, which drives a wedge between secular and religious members of society.

August 13: Demonstrators are urged to strengthen economy protests by holding more marches in the periphery.

August 16: Hundreds of Israeli youngsters scuffle with police outside parliament as MPs hold a special debate on the protests.

August 27: More than 20,000 Israelis demonstrate in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other places across the country in fresh protests.

September 3: An estimated 400,000 people pour onto streets across Israel to protest the high cost of living, a day after organisers called for a “million-man march” to revitalise their movement – setting a new record for the nation’s largest social protest.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

More from News
Most Read