Jerusalem Protesters Warn Capital’s Kindergartens Vulnerable to Attack
Jerusalem (TPS) – Hundreds demonstrated in the government precinct in Jerusalem on the morning of Monday, November 16, demanding that the government transfer more money to the city so that security measures can be maintained, along with various other municipal services.
The protesters, led by mayor Nir Barkat and by local council members, argued that contrary to previous years, Minister of Finance, Moshe Kahlon, is refusing to transfer the budget needed to maintain daily life in the capital city.
Without the budget transfer, the protesters warned that there will be cutbacks in patrol vehicles and security guards, as well as equipment, required to secure the city neighborhoods.
Hundreds of kindergartens across the city will remain without security protection, they warned, and will thus be vulnerable to terror attacks which have been a frequent occurrence in the city. Fourteen Israelis have been killed in the current wave of terror attacks and around 165 injured across the country.
Additionally, the protesters expressed concerns that this would cause serious damage to the city’s education, welfare and maintenance systems, as well as to its culture budget forcing many local businesses to close.
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat stated in Monday’s protest that: “Kahlon, the Minister of Finance, has refused to respond to appeals by business owners suffering from the security situation. This isn’t a personal issue, it is a national issue in the interest of all Israeli citizens. During these tough times, Jerusalem should be above everything else.”
“Most businesses are struggling financially, and are still suffering the consequences of the latest operation in Gaza,” said Lili Ben Shalom, owner of a restaurant in the city center. “We can’t know when the effect of the terror wave will wear off. If the government doesn’t transfer the money, hundreds of businesses will close.”
According to the protesters, Jerusalem requires an immediate budget increase of 450 million shekels (about 115 million USD).