Protesting Israelis Demand Social Justice

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JERUSALEM, July 31 (UPI) — Israeli Finance Ministry Director Gen. Haim Shani resigned Sunday, amid nationwide protests demanding social justice and an end to rising costs.

Shani said he resigned over differences of opinion with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, The Jerusalem Post said.

The country’s doctors staged a protest outside the Knesset and leaders of the Israel Medical Association submitted a petition to the prime minister’s office calling to save public medicine in Israel, Haaretz said.

The doctors — who have been protesting for several months demanding improved working conditions and better pay — have yet to receive a response from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to their demands.

President Shimon Peres met with some of the doctors leading the struggle after expressing a desire to intervene on their behalf, Israel Radio said.

Yedioth Ahronoth said Peres also said he is willing to mediate between the protesters and the government in an effort to solve the crisis.

Taking to the streets Saturday night, some 150,000 protesters called to lower housing and food costs, equal standards of education for all including free education from birth, free university tuition, quality healthcare for all, higher salaries and improved work conditions.

The demonstrators challenged Netanyahu to act and amend the situation or step down, the Hebrew language daily said.

Saturday night’s protests in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Kiryat Shmona, and Beersheba were described by local media as the largest protests demanding social equality in the history of the State.

Activist Daphni Leef described the nationwide protests as “a revolution of awareness,” saying citizens realize they deserve more, Ynetnews.com said.

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