Some 300 students gather outside Tel Aviv Museum to protest against yeshiva students' stipend bill; protesters block road, trade blows with police
Latest Update: 11.17.10
Students clash with police at rally: Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, demanding that the government stop discriminating against students attending higher education institutions.
The rally turned ugly as protestors attempted to block the road and clashed with police.
The demonstrators protested against a bill aimed at bypassing a High Court ruling and allowing the government to allocate funds to yeshiva students.
At one point in the rally, students hurled smoke grenades and blocked the road in the area. Police officers were trying to restore order and push the protesters away from the road.
Student union chairman Itzik Shmuly said that students traded blows with police, adding that "this expresses the great frustration by young students in Israel and the State's indifference towards them."
Many students were bruised during the clashes and several protestors were held for questioning. A police cruiser at the site announced over its speaker system that the students were holding an illegal rally and urged them to clear the road.
"We merely want to protest against the State's indifference, but apparently the police don't care about equality in the country," one student said.
'We're not suckers'
Ben-Gurion University student David Ashkenazi said a police officer sprayed tear gas at protestors even though they did not resort to violence.
"Several students were hurt," he said.
The students were carrying signs reading "We fear for the future of the state", "We demand equal rights", and "We're not suckers."
However, many students at the event expressed their disappointment over the small number of protestors.
Elad, a Tel Aviv University student, said: "It's truly depressing to see that more students didn't arrive; maybe others have despaired, but I have not despaired….I feel that the State is losing its direction and setting screwed-up priorities, and I intend to continue the struggle until we win."
Last week, hundreds of students gathered outside Tel Aviv University, and some tried to block a nearby junction.
At the beginning of the month, some 6,000 students attended a mass rally in Jerusalem. The protesters marched from the prime minister's residence to Zion Square in the capital and chanted "Bibi wake up" and "We are also hungry for bread."
Earlier, Israel's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar met with haredi and secular students from the Ono Academic College and asked them to maintain restraint.
"I came here to ask of you, that in every conflict – on either side and at all times – we maintain a fair and just struggle, and not engage in a destructive struggle that harms the public," he said.
Rabbi Amar noted that "it is important to deliver constructive criticism, but we must continue to live together as one people in our land, and even if there are disagreements and different opinions – it's imperative that we remain loving and bonded with one another."
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