Tel Aviv housing prices tent protest 58.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday addressed protesters from Tel Aviv and around the country who are staging protests against rising housing costs.
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"Come protest in Jerusalem," the prime minister said at the weekly cabinet meeting. "Help me pass land reform [laws]."
The government is working to address the issue, Netanyahu said, "there is a large demand and there aren't enough apartments."
Protesters currently living in tents on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard should bring their struggle to the Knesset and be patient as land reforms are passed and implemented, he said. "It will take between two and three years
to channel tens of thousands of apartments into the market
. But this is what will resolve the issue; this is what will provide a genuine solution."
Construction and Housing Minister Arel Attias (Shas) said on Sunday in an interview with Israel Radio that the high housing prices in Tel Aviv are a result of a shortage of apartments and a lack of available land in the city on which to build more.
He said that there is available land in Modi'in, Rosh Ha'ayin, Yavne, and Herzliya, where it is possible to build up to 25,000 units in the next two years.
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Irate over soaring real estate prices in Tel Aviv and elsewhere across
the country, hundreds of people set up a tent city over the weekend at
the northern end of Rothschild Boulevard, and vowed not to break camp
until the government presents a solution to the rising cost of putting a
roof over one’s head.
The tent city protest comes a few weeks after a Facebook campaign to
boycott cottage cheese
attracted more than 100,000 followers and drew
the attention of politicians and captains of industry alike. Like the
“Cottage Cheese Intifada,” the new protest appears to be an entirely
grassroots affair that took wing on Facebook, addressing an issue that
directly affects the pocketbooks of Israelis.
By Friday afternoon, around three dozen tents were set up in the
boulevard’s pedestrian midway, as was a “living room” complete with
mattresses and couches.
On Saturday, the National Students Union announced that it is joining
the protest, and said that beginning on Sunday, students will set up
protest tents in Beersheba and at Rupin College north of Netanya. In
addition, they announced that tents will be set up at the Beit Berl
College in the Sharon region and at Tel Hai College in Kiryat Shmona.
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