Protesters Call for General Strike at Histadrut Headquarters in Tel Aviv, Block Roads 2 and 4

At a protest outside the Histadrut labor federation in Tel Aviv, anti-government protesters call on the workers’ union to declare a general strike on Monday, June 24. “The government of blood continues to engage in petty politics to remain in place at the citizens’ expense. If we don’t act today to replace our leadership, we will all pay the price,” the protesters said in a statement.

According Zo Haderech, the anti-government protesters from the Changing Direction activist group handcuffed themselves to the building of the Histadrut labor federation in calling for a general strike until a date is set for new elections. A group of protesters hold a banner reading “What happened to solidarity?” while others block the entrance to the building.

“What happened to solidarity?” protest group rally call for general strike outside the Histadrut labor federation building in Tel Aviv, June 24, 2024. (Photo: Changing Direction)

Police dispersed the protesters, who locked arms through PVC pipes, hindering police efforts. Earlier, protesters blocked traffic on Route 2, close to Tel Aviv, as well as northbound traffic on Route 4, near the central city of Hod HaSharon. Demonstrators burned tires and chanted “Elections now!” and “General strike now!” The protesters call for a general strike to be declared across Israel as a way of putting pressure on the far-right government.

“As hostages are neglected in Gaza, the north is burning and another war threatens to erupt, the government is neglecting all of our lives. This is an emergency situation. It’s clear that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is neither fit nor worthy.” the protesters say in a statement. Histadrut chair Arnon Bar-David called in May for Prime Minister to set a date for early elections, and has indicated that if the prime minister refuses, the organization could take steps to force his hand, but he didn’t do anything. 

In an interview a day earlier, Netanyahu rejected outright any hostage release deal and the Hostages and Missing Families Forum slams Prime Minister accusing him of withdrawing his support for it. “We strongly condemn the prime minister’s statement in which he walked back from the Israeli proposal. This means he is abandoning 120 hostages and harms the moral duty of the state of Israel to its citizens,” the group says in a statement.

After Netanyahu tells far-right Israeli Channel 14 that he will agree to “temporarily pause fighting in Gaza for the release of some hostages, but won’t end the war until Hamas is destroyed,” the Prime Minister’s Office says it is Hamas that is rejecting the deal on offer, not Israel. Netanyahu tells Channel 14 that Israel is prepared to pause fighting in Gaza for a partial deal in exchange for the return of a number of hostages held by Hamas, but insists that the war will not end until Hamas is destroyed.