Farmers protest 311.
(photo credit: Gilad Livni)
A day after farmers stopped supplying fruits and vegetables to markets across
the country in protest of the government’s decision to reduce the number of
foreign workers in the agriculture sector, demonstrations intensified on
After a morning protest at the Arava junction, which caused road
congestion, the farmers held simultaneous demonstrations at several locations
across the country.
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Dozens of farmers arrived at the Ahituv junction in
Emek Hefer, while about 200 farmers from Eshkol, Sdot Negev and the Ramat Negev
Regional Councils demonstrated at the Netivot junction, which was blocked for a
Other protests were held at the Ahva junction, the Ram
junction in the western Negev, and several other locations.
Emek Hefer carried signs with statements such as “Rich salad – only for the
rich,” and “Reducing the quota of foreign workers – a death sentence for
The farmers brought along bags of tangerines, which they
distributed to passersby, and the Ahituv junction recorded exceptional traffic
in both directions.
Among other issues, the farmers are protesting the
shortage of 4,000 foreign workers in the agricultural sector. They are demanding
that the government uphold an agreement that the number of workers be increased
from 22,000 to 26,000 as promised.
“The government promised us the
workers a year and a half ago and never delivered.
Why should we believe
them now?” Avshalom Vilan, secretary- general of the Israeli Farmers Federation,
asked on Sunday.
“The strike has begun and will continue for the next
three days. Unless the government can find a way to bring 4,000 workers in the
next two days, we won’t change our decision,” he said.