The streets of cities across the country were jammed with an estimated 400,000 protesters on Saturday night, in the largest show of force yet for the social-issues protest movement that has dominated the headlines for two months.

The demonstrations were held under the banner “They [the government] only understand numbers.”

Saturday’s events were billed by organizers as a turning point, an all-out push for a critical mass of protesters to force the government to present solutions to the issues addressed by the movement.

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It was expected to be the climax of the mass-street-protests phase of the movement, before participants fold up their tent cities ahead of a long process of negotiations and dialogue with the government.


In Tel Aviv, the marchers streamed out of Habima Square at 8 p.m. on their way to Hamedina Square, where the final rally was held. The rally was headlined by Mizrachi music superstar Ayal Golan and featured speeches by protest movement leaders Daphni Leef and Itzik Shmuli, the latter the head of the National Union of Israeli Students.

Rallies were also held in Jerusalem, Haifa, Afula, Karmiel, Eilat and several others cities.

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