Last updated: 2 June, 2012

Thousands of Israelis stage protest marches

Thousands of Israelis marched on Saturday in three major cities against social inequities and the high cost of living, in an attempt to rekindle last summer’s broad protest movement.

The largest rally was in Tel Aviv, with more than 3,000 participants calling for social justice.

Some also bore signs condemning racism in the wake of a recent spike in racial tensions in the city, which is home to tens of thousands of African migrants.

In Jerusalem more than 1,000 people headed towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence bearing placards saying “Swinish capitalism is not kosher”, “We want justice, not charity” and “The people demand social justice,” an AFP correspondent said.

Hundreds also marched in the northern port city of Haifa, many of them members of youth movements, media reports said.

A police spokesman told AFP that approximately 5,000 people took part in the various marches.

Ahead of Saturday’s demonstrations, organisers laid out their demands on Facebook.

These included expanding and improving social services and infrastructure, decreasing the cost of living and increasing taxation on those with high incomes, while lowering indirect taxes.

Several thousand Israelis held social justice demonstrations in major Israeli cities last month.

The 2011 protest movement culminated in September with nearly half a million Israelis taking to the streets to protest against high rents and social inequity.