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Israeli government listens to demonstrators

Israeli government listens to demonstrators
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Protesters are camping out on the streets of Tel Aviv, angry at the high cost of living in Israel, especially housing.

Despite relatively strong economic growth people are struggling to make ends meet, prompting demonstrations similar to those that have taken place in Spain and other countries.

The number of protesters has grown steeply, prompting the announcement on Sunday of a government panel to address their concerns.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined what the panel will do, “This committee will hold a broad dialogue with the different parts of the public, will listen to their distress and their suggestions and will form recommendations which will be brought to the social-economic cabinet headed by the Finance Minister.”

The size of protests on Saturday made it impossible for the government to ignore the strength of feeling.

Upto a quarter of a million people turned out in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to voice their discontent.

The protest leaders have published a list of demands including the construction of affordable housing and the scrapping of a 16 per cent sales tax.