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Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
UK architects, planners and other construction industry professionals campaigning for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.


Israelis protest high house prices while illegal settlements expand

20 July 2011

Israelis protest high house prices

Israeli youths have set up hundreds of protest tents in Tel Aviv and other major cities to demonstrate against the government's failure to control surging housing prices.

In an echo of the tactics of anti-government protesters in the region, Israeli students and young workers erected dozens of protest tents in Tel Aviv's Rothschild Avenue, one of the city's most prosperous streets, over the weekend and declared the tent city "Tahrir Square," taking a cue from Egypt. 

But shortly after, hundreds of supporters joined the core of tent-dwellers in Tel Aviv and protest tents spread to other Israeli cities, including the northern city of Kiryat Shmona and Kfar Sava, with local residents coming out in support of the mostly young protesters. 

The National Students' Union, which has joined the protest, says it will pitch further protest camps in universities and colleges around Israel. 

Protesters say rents are too high and that the cost of buying homes is prohibitive. A small new apartment in a middle-class neighborhood in Tel Aviv costs about USD 2 million while the average annual income in the country is USD 2,000. 

In Israel, housing prices have spiked 30 percent since 2007. 

Protesters say high house prices have forced them to leave Tel Aviv, Jerusalem (al-Quds) and other main cities where most employment is concentrated. 

The Israeli youth, who were also protesting against surging living costs, pledged to remain in the protest tents until action has been taken to address the issue of high housing costs. 

Authorities say they will permit the protest tents to remain as long as demonstrators maintain public order. 

The shortage of property is exacerbated as a large number of homes are owned by the American and European Jews who visit Israel two or three times a year. 



Israel to build 336 illegal homes   18 July 2011

Construction is expected to begin within a year and will be completed in about three years.

Israel is seeking construction companies to build 336 apartments in the occupied West Bank as illegal settlement activities continue in the Palestinian territories.

The estimated three-year construction would begin within the next 12 months, according to the officials. 

In September 2010, the Israeli regime resumed the expansion of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories after a 10-month partial freeze, prompting Palestinian Authority leaders to break off the US-sponsored talks with Tel-Aviv that had resumed after a lengthy stalemate.