Israel: Business owners and self-employed rally against COVID measures in Tel Aviv

Over 1,000 protesters gathered in Tel Aviv on Thursday, largely made up of small business owners and freelancers, to decry government policies put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus which have impacted their businesses. One protester, Esti Zakheim, expressed a feeling of abandonment by the government. ''We are hungry. We are not working, and we are not getting any compensation. So we feel that the government does not think about it and does not count us. We feel very lonely, so we gathered all these independent people together because we believe that nobody thinks about us,» she said. The protesters were later joined by a group of anti-Netanyahu protesters, who have been rallying for weeks against the Israeli leader as he faces criminal charges. Protests did not take place in Tel Aviv exclusively, with other major protests seen in Jerusalem and Haifa, and hundreds of smaller rallies. To contrast with the ongoing sentiment, a pro-Netanyahu rally reportedly happened as a counter demonstration in Holon. The protesters' main demands are thought to be the reopening of businesses and a compensation scheme for loss of income incurred as a result of the pandemic.
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