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Israeli Doctors Protest Working Conditions

JERUSALEM, July 29 (UPI) — About 100 doctors and other residents completed a march to Jerusalem, where they set up a tent to protest working conditions, witnesses said.

The protesters said they were prepared to stay in the impromptu encampment outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office until their demands are met, Ynetnews reported Friday.

“What’s happening here is just a phase,” said Professor Azriel Perel, president of the Israel Society of Anesthesiologists. “We are prepared for months of struggle and we’ll stay here as long as it takes. I promise that the doctors will not break down … the state of Israel is controlled by only one ministry — the Finance Ministry.”

Protest organizers have criticized pay rates and working conditions.

The movement’s leader,Dr. Leonid Edelman, chairman of the Israeli Medical Association, went on a hunger strike several days ago. Doctors from the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem examined him after he reported feeling ill but didn’t report their findings.

“I think the people sitting there [in the Finance Ministry] have forgotten that the goal is not to keep as much money in the treasury, ” Edelman told the protesters.

“Our nation feels forgotten. It’s felt in healthcare, housing, cottage cheese or taxes. I face the treasury and see people motivated by logic and a worldview that only sees money, but not people,” Edelman said.

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