Municipality clerks accompanied by dozens of police and border patrolmen cleared
out the Rothschild tent city on Monday afternoon, signaling what appears to be
the end of the campsite phase of the “social justice” protest
The long-expected eviction of the Tel Aviv tent cities began
early Monday morning, when police and municipality clerks arrived at Levinsky
park tent city around 6 a.m., and managed to evict the campsite’s residents in
less than 10 minutes. They then moved on to the campsites on Nordau and Ben-
Gurion boulevards in the north of the city, also meeting scant
Two people were arrested for disturbing the peace during the
evacuation of the Levinsky tent city, which has been home to a population of
mainly homeless drug addicts and African migrants. After the eviction was
completed, city clerks put up a small fence around the area, to prepare for
landscaping to repair the site.
The scene on Rothschild Boulevard was
more lively, perhaps due to the presence of a large amount of journalists and
onlookers. Nonetheless, within a little over half an hour the eviction of the
last remaining segment of the tent city between Hashmonaim and Marmorek streets
camp cleared after court denies injunction
C'tee: 'Protest experts didn't read report'
Ahead of the eviction of Rothschild, residents of the tent
city, most of whom said they are homeless and don’t have access to housing,
vowed to remain at the site no matter the cost, while other residents said they
must peacefully pack up and leave before the police arrive.
In the end,
most of the crowd was on the scene when police shut off the one block section of
Rothschild to traffic and began the eviction. Within moments, a few dozen
riot police and border patrolmen arrived to clear the way for municipal clerks
who made quick work of the remnants of the tent city, tossing the structures
into dump trucks while African migrants hired by the city cleaned up behind
them, taking orders from Israeli Arab contractors.
“Did you see how they
came here, with what brutality they did this? We were ready to leave on our own
and everything was ready for us to leave,” Victor Maimon, a homeless man living
at the site for well over a month said following the eviction.
these 80 days we built a community here, over the course of 80 days, the mayor
tried to shut us up time and time again. Today we are showing that they will not
push us out of this city by force,” shouted Shai Ziv, standing arm-in-arm with
residents of the city shortly after the eviction was carried out.
Fekete, a 27-year-old activist who said that he had been volunteering to help
homeless people at the campsite, said that in regard to those forced to leave
the campsite on Monday “we will work to help these people find new places to
live. These are people who have nowhere to go and if they are forced to leave
they will be sleeping on park benches in the city.”
came shortly after the Tel Aviv District Court rejected an urgent request filed
earlier that morning by 16 members of the Rothschild Boulevard protest
encampment, who had asked for an injunction to delay evacuation of a section of
the protest tents.
The petitioners had asked for an 80-meter section of
the encampment between Marmorek and Hashmonaim streets, which they dubbed “the
Holy of Holies of the protest movement” to be left standing.
requested that the court order the municipality to permit several homeless
protest leaders to stay temporarily in two empty buildings on Bialik and Dov Hoz
Attorney Yaron Ben- Yitzhak, who is representing the group on a
pro bono basis, told the Post
that the petitioners, several of whom claim to be
homeless, turned to him late Sunday night after negotiations with the
municipality had failed.
According to Ben-Yitzhak, the municipality had
not provided an acceptable solution for the homeless protesters.
have nowhere else to go if the municipality evacuates the tents,” said Ben
However, in rejecting the request, Judge Esther Covo noted that
previous rulings in the District and Supreme Courts had already determined that
the evacuation of the protest encampment was “lawful, reasonable and
proportionate” and took into account that the protesters continued presence on
the public boulevard had damaged local residents.
An additional petition
to the High Court of Justice against the tent evacuations had been rejected
“There is nothing preventing the evacuation of the encampment,”
Covo said, adding that the petitioners should “turn [their] attention to the
extensive damage that has been caused both to the petitioners themselves and to
the general public as a result of staying on public lands.”
Ahead of the
evacuations on Monday, the Tel Aviv Municipality issued a statement saying that
“the city of Tel Aviv decided to evacuate the campsites on the city’s boulevards
and in Levinsky Park, after the city had previously supported and allowed the
The statement said that throughout the protests “the city has
received many dozens of complaints from residents who live next to the
campsites, who complain of noise, drugs, violence, feces in their yards, as well
as other disturbances.”
The statement added that the city has provided
social workers for those homeless campsite residents who leave the tent cities
and has proposed finding an alternative campsite in the city in a less central
location. The statement also said that the city has spent around NIS 40,000 per
day on sanitation and security issues related to the campsites.
spokesman for the municipality at Rothschild on Monday said that the tent cities
in Hatikva Park in South Tel Aviv and Hashtayim Park in Jaffa were not being
evacuated for now, saying that the campsites “have populations with special
needs that the city must take into account.”
The Hatikvah Park campsite,
in one of Tel Aviv’s poorest neighborhoods, has a population mainly of single
mothers and families, while the Hashtayim tent city is made up of Israeli Arabs
from Jaffa and has linked some of its grievances to the housing issue and state
demolitions of property in Jaffa and the wider Arab sector.