Druze and Circassian activists got together Sunday for a joint protest in Tel Aviv outside the Government Complex Building (Kiryat Hamemshalah), calling on the government to approve a five-year budget to that local authorities in both communities could deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Hundreds of protesters wearing masks and maintaining social distance from one another blocked the road as they called for the transfer of the NIS 200 million emergency budget their communities were promised to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, Ynet reported. That money was never delivered despite being approved by the government. Protesters also waved and wore the colorful Druze flag, which served as the flag of the Jabal Druze State until 1936. The protest ended in the afternoon.
The Druze community is the only Israeli population currently operating without a clear budget plan.Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, appealed to the High Court on Sunday claiming that the state is not offering equal treatment to the local authorities in the Arab sector. While the state offers to compensate local authorities for loss of property tax, as many businesses are closed now due to the COVID-19 outbreak and cannot pay it, Arab local councils usually have few businesses in them and most of the property tax they collect is from homeowners. Adalah claims that this distinction in property tax between businesses and private homes is not in the letter of the law as it only refers to arnona – property tax – without stating if the intention is for businesses or homes.