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Thursday, March 10, 2011

'Arabs will protest like Egypt over social workers' strike'

Kafr Kana

Following Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, will riots reach Israel too? Arab sector warns that social workers' strike and recent price hikes could lead to outburst. 'Government needs to wake up,' says Kafr Kana official

Welfare agencies are set to close Sunday. Social workers protesting their employment terms and claiming that enough is enough will launch a strike as price hikes abound and the economic burden increases. But in the Arab sector there is an additional concern – fears of protests over racial discrimination.

"The government needs to wake up before it's too late and the Arab population organizes protests against the government," the manager of the seniors' department in the Kafr Kana council and Social Workers' Association Committee Member Naail Beto stated. "If there is no response to the demands of the Arab population, we will see thousands of people in the streets protesting against the Israeli government, similar to protests in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Beto warned that the social workers' strike would only exacerbate the problem. "These distressed families won't be receiving any services and it will make them consider mutinous behavior and protests," he explained, "We will only be handling emergency cases through the exceptions committee so it is best if solutions are discussed before a blowup occurs.

In Arara in Wadi Ara there are 17,000 residents in 2,800 households. More than 1,000 of them are cared for by the welfare department. "By the end of 2010 we had 890 cases," the welfare department manager for local council told Ynet. Since then, with the recent hikes in prices, the number has gone up to 1,115."


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