Israel parliament passes housing bill, protests set to continue
Israel's parliament passed a housing bill Wednesday aimed at alleviating the country's shortage of homes by cutting red tape to speed up the approval of building projects dpa reported
But critics vowed to step up their protests after accusing the bill of failing to promote affordable housing.
The law passed with 57 votes in favour and 45 against, a spokesman for parliament said.
The bill was promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who believes the high cost of housing in Israel is to a large part due to a lack of available apartments, exacerbated by excessive bureaucracy.
To mark their dissatisfaction with the new law, demonstrators blocked 10 major roads throughout Israel while it was being voted on, and also staged marches in Tel Aviv and other cities.
Leaders of the protest movement have also called for another mass rally to take place in Tel Aviv this weekend. Some 150,000 people demonstrated in major Israeli cities over the weekend, protesting the country's high cost of living.
The protests began on July 14, when Israelis began setting up tent camps in at least 15 towns and cities to protest skyrocketing housing prices, which have gone up by more than 60 per cent over the past four years.