Thousand Gather in Tel Aviv to Protest against Rising Housing Prices

Some 1,000 young people gathered Habima Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest Israel’s high cost of livingand soaring housing prices. Among them several Hadash and Communist Party of Israel activists. Support for the campaign topped 22,000 on social media.

“Housing is a basic right”, a Young Communist Hebrew and Arabic banner for the demonstration in Tel-Aviv – Saturday night, July 2, 2022 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

People from across the country attended the demonstration, demanding that the government act to change the situation. “Housing is a basic right. The working class bear the burden of the existence of the state and receive nothing in return,” a Hadash member said journalists.

In recent weeks, Israel saw a return to tent protests in several cities’ central locations, including Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, in echoes of the widespread social justice protests over a decade ago. Since then, housing, cost of living, and the relative costs of Tel Aviv compared to other world cities have only gone up.

Israel housing prices rose by 15 percent between January and February 2021 and the same period in 2022, a report by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) revealed in April. Overall prices have been rising by 1.2 percent each month on average since February 2021, with the central part of Israel annually increasing 17.7 percent, 16.4 percent in Jerusalem, 14.5 percent in Tel Aviv, and 13.2 percent in Haifa, according to the statistics. 

According Zo Haderech, the small protest Saturday was a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of people who poured into the streets in the summer of 2011 to demand government action over rising prices. At the height of the demonstrations, an estimated 800,000 people turned out for the weekly protest.