Police violence against Israeli anti-poverty activists

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Activists’ fury over ‘violent’ protest camp break-up

Monday 09 January 2012

Israeli leftwingers accused police of using excessive force on Sunday after officers broke up a rally against plans to remove a Tel Aviv protest encampment.

The tent protest in Hatikva neighbourhood, which began in June, aims to highlight the shortage of affordable homes in Israel.

When local authorities announced their intention to clear the tents on Sunday a crowd of hundreds including members of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, or Hadash, took to the streets to peacefully defend the camp and demand “housing for all.”

Police waded in after some blocked traffic and arrested 23. Some protesters were allegedly beaten by officers.

Activist Stav Shaffir said: “A number of officers dragged me to their vehicle. They carried me while I was choking.”

Hadash MP Dov Khenin condemned the “police violence” and called on local authorities to “find solutions” for people being priced out of the capital.

Israeli MPs approved draconian new penalties today on undocumented migrants and Israeli citizens who help them, one of several new measures designed to prevent African people seeking sanctuary from poverty and conflict: here.

6 thoughts on “Police violence against Israeli anti-poverty activists

  1. Israeli rail strike over outsourcing of maintenance work

    A weeklong strike by rail workers over outsourcing of maintenance work on new rolling stock has disrupted rail services on the lines between the Harishonim station in Rishon LeZion and Tel Aviv, and from Jerusalem’s Malha station to Tel Aviv.

    Globes reported, “Canadian company Bombardier has in effect been assured of the maintenance work as part of a contract for the supply of new passenger cars. The Histadrut [union federation] claims that this is not only a form of privatization, which will adversely affect Israel Railways workers, but also a waste of money, as Bombardier will have to construct new maintenance sheds.”
    Israeli nurses abandon wards, protesting overcrowding

    Nurses at Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Hashomer walked out of three internal departments January 9 in protest at overcrowding.

    ”The nurses were protesting the fact that the occupancy of the wards reached 140 percent. According to an agreement between the Nurses’ Association and the state, the occupancy in the internal departments will not rise above 115 percent,” said the Jerusalem Post.

    Each of the abandoned wards had 50 patients, even though regulations state that only 36 patients are allowed in each ward.

    Egypt subway workers in sit-in for permanent contracts

    On January 9, subway train employees staged a sit-in call for permanent contracts among other reforms.

    Ahram Online said, “According to media reports, the protest caused traffic congestion in downtown, Cairo as the demonstrators called for permanent contracts and against overdue payments.”



  2. Israeli airlines may strike over new “open skies” agreement

    The Histadrut (the general trade union federation) has declared a work dispute at Israel’s airlines: El Al Israel Airlines, Arkia Airlines, Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd.

    The dispute followed the signing by the Israel Airports Authority and Ministry of Transport of the “open skies” agreement without negotiating with the employees of the Israeli airlines set to be adversely affected by the decision.

    With the declaration of the work dispute, a strike could follow in two weeks time. Israel’s airlines employ around 7,000 workers while a further 25,000 jobs are directly supported by the airline sector.
    Nurses across Israel strike after talks fail

    On February 26, nurses across Israel went on a 24-hour strike, after overnight negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the chairman of the national nurses union failed to reach an agreement to prevent the strike.

    Nursing staff from Clalit Health Services community clinics, health offices, baby care clinics, schools and public hospitals across the country are participating in the strike.

    According to Ha’aretz, “The two sides reached an understanding that the severe shortage of nurses in Israel’s health system is a matter of national priority that requires exceptional steps. In return, however, the treasury demanded that nurses agree to hospitalization of patients even when hospitals reach occupancy levels of 150 percent, and that they agree to maintain industrial peace.”

    The chairperson of the national nurses union, Ilana Cohen, said this would result in patients lying in hospital corridors, and that it would endanger lives.

    “They want me to allow 80 people in a ward and to commit to industrial peace,” she said. “The wards look like parking lots of beds, children are hospitalized one on top of the other, beds are in corridors and next to the toilet. It makes no sense and I will not let patients continue to get this kind of treatment. Patients are not numbers.”



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