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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

ISRAELI 'YELLOW VESTS' SWARM KNESSET: COST OF LIVING OUT OF CONTROL

Tuesday 18/December/2018 - 06:11 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
Leaders of the “yellow vest” demonstrations appeared at a meeting of the Knesset Economics Committee in which coalition and opposition members argued over who was to blame for the expected rise in electricity and food prices، as the Jerusalem Post said.
Economics Committee Chairman Eitan Cabel embraced the demonstrators’ representatives who wore reflective vests in the meeting، shook their hands and said: “Your fight is our fight.”
David Mizrahi، who organized the protests، said “the cost of living touches so many families…If the price of electricity goes up one shekel، we will plan protests the likes of which haven’t been seen in the State of Israel.”
Several major food companies announced they will be raising prices. Regulated dairy products are expected to go up in price by 2-5%، regulated bread prices will rise 3.5%. Electricity prices are planned to increase by 7%. In response، the government appointed economist Prof. Yaron Zelika to lead a committee that would recommend ways to lower the cost of living، but the increased tariffs are expected to go into effect too soon for the committee to stop them.
Last week، inspired by the riots in Paris، Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv in yellow vests to protest the planned price hikes. Some of the organizers are those who orchestrated the weekly protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that lasted over a year، as well as Meretz activists، according to a Channel 10 report.
Meanwhile، in a Channel 2 poll over the weekend، Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s party dropped from its current 10 seats to 5.
The opposition has focused on the projected rise in the cost of living to blast the coalition، and in that vein، Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay made a rare appearance in a Knesset meeting.
“The government lost control over the cost of living،” Gabbay lamented.
Gabbay was Environmental Protection Minister in the current government for over a year، before resigning and joining the Labor Party، which is two-thirds of the Zionist Union bloc. He was the sole minister to vote against the government’s plan to export natural gas، which he cited on Tuesday as the reason for the rising price of electricity.

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