Last updated: 7 September, 2011

Arrests as protesters try to storm Tel Aviv city hall

Police arrested 12 demonstrators who attempted to break into Tel Aviv city hall on Wednesday in protest against the clearing of a protest camp in the Israeli city.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said several hundred demonstrators convened outside city hall, chanting slogans and hurling raw eggs and other projectiles.

Police sought to bar entry to the building, while demonstrators attempted to block adjacent streets in response to the evacuation of the tent city set up in protest at the high cost of living.

Protest leaders had said they planned to dismantle the six-week-old encampment after bringing record numbers of demonstrators to a Saturday protest over the high cost of everything from housing to food.

The Tel Aviv municipality said it had begun clearing the tents only after the announced evacuation plans.

“Following the announcement of the social movement leadership regarding the end of the tent-stage of their protest, and continuing the evacuation of 600 tents in the city by the protesters, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality cleaned Rothschild, Ben Gurion and Nordau boulevards of empty tents that were a sanitary risk,” it said.

An estimated 450,000 people took to Israel’s streets to protest the high cost of living on Saturday night, piling pressure on the government to take action and prompting the movement to say it would now look to other means to advance its agenda.