Disability rights organizations demonstrated on Sunday, July 25, at dozens of locations across Israel, blocking roads and junctions from 8am to protest the new government’s failure to adequately provide them with legislatively mandated grants to the tune of hundreds of millions of shekels.
The disability organizations claim that the Finance Ministry has indicated that if the state budget is not passed at by mandated deadline towards the end of this year, extra-budgetary grants will no longer be issued as they were over the past two years in lieu of an approved state budget. In response to this, on Thursday, July 22, the disability organizations vowed to cause “billions of shekels of damage” by blocking major highways and railroads.
The organizations are demanding the full implementation of the Disability Law that was passed in 2018. The law states that disabled persons who cannot work will receive a living stipend that will gradually increase to 3,700 NIS a month. The law dictates that the stipend is to be implemented in four stages. The first two stages have already been put into effect but, because of the current situation of no ratified state budget, the Finance Ministry is hindering the implementation of the remaining stages, despite public promises made by Labor and Welfare Minister Meir Cohen.