Handicapped protest on Highway 4..
(photo credit: DISABLED IS NOT A HALF PERSON)
Some 40 disabled people once again took to the streets on Thursday, blocking Route 4 at the Geha junction in Bnei Brak/Petah Tikva in the direction of Givat Shmuel for several hours to make their demands known.
Then headed for the capital, planning to block the main, western, entrance to Jerusalem, but the police stopped them on Route 1 near Sha’ar Hagai.
They are demanding that their disability allotments, NIS 2,342 a month, be raised to be equal to the minimum wage, NIS 5,000, and were expecting a ruling later on Thursday on a petition asking the High Court of Justice to order the government to do just that.
“We want to apologize to the people going to their homes and their jobs, but we have no choice but to risk our lives to get what we need. Hanan Tal, CEO of NGO “Disabled, Not a Half a Human Being,” told The Jerusalem Post.
The petition sought to raise the monthly stipend for people with disabilities stating they are unable to survive on the current NIS 2,342 monthly stipend.
Noting that the current poverty line is NIS 3,330 a month, Tal exclaimed: “Don’t make us choose between food and medicine.”
According to Tal, the protesters came from all over Israel, “from North to South, we are really proud of the way we did it.
There were no confrontations with drivers or the police, we followed the law to protest and everything was coordinated with the police.”
A similar protest was staged two weeks ago where some 40 to 50 people with disabilities gathered at the Bnei Darom junction outside Ashdod. During the demonstration, which did not have a permit, 15 protesters went onto the highway, distributing spikes to block cars and provoking police while demanding the increased monthly allotment. Five protesters were arrested after clashing with police.
Tal emphasized that this time, “nobody was hurt, nobody was arrested, and we hope that we don’t have to do this over and over again.”