TA municipality evacuates Hatikva Park tent city

4 arrested as encampment inhabited mainly by homeless cleared; city promises to help find alternative housing.

January 15, 2012 11:18
1 minute read.
Tent city set up on Rothschild Blvd. in TA [file]

Tent City 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

The Tel Aviv Municipality on Sunday morning began evacuating the tent encampment in the Hatikva neighborhood in the southern part of the city. Four people were arrested during the evacuation.

The municipality stated that it would provide grants and assistance to those being evacuated to find alternative housing. Many of the tent encampment's residents are homeless.

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Social protesters march through central TA
Hatikva tent city residents await eviction

"The municipality temporarily allowed the existence of a protest tent in Hatikva Park as tens of thousands of homeless in the country are in distress, victims of the Israeli government's policies which have severely lessened the availability of public housing, and not adjusted rent aid to those eligible to receive it," the municipality said in a statement.

The statement added that the evacuation of the tents remaining in the park was being carried out "in accordance with the [Tel Aviv] District Court's decision."

The court decision was handed down earlier this month, but the evacuation was delayed after last week, hundreds of people took part in a protest march against the move, with 23 being arrested.

Other than a small encampment on Yefet Boulevard in Jaffa, the Hatikva tent city is the last remaining campsite in Tel Aviv. The residents are by-and- large quite different from those who camped out at the Rothschild Boulevard campsite and others on Ben-Gurion and Nordau boulevards in Tel Aviv. They are predominantly families, many of them single mothers and their children, as well as recovering drug addicts and homeless people.

As opposed to the other campsites in Tel Aviv, the demands didn’t meander along a constellation of “social justice” goals, instead they revolved around a single demand: housing.

Ben Hartman contributed to this report.

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