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Israelis protest budget austerity measures

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Israelis marched through Tel Aviv to protest the steep austerity measures proposed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid.

About 10,000 Israelis protested on Saturday night in a gathering reminiscent of the 2011 social equality protests supported by Lapid.

Smaller demonstrations also took place in Jerusalem, Haifa and other smaller cities.

Israel’s Cabinet is scheduled to discuss the proposed budget for 2013-14 on Monday.

Austerity measures include a reduction in the child allowance and raising taxes, including a 1.5 percent hike on income and a 1 percent rise in the value added tax to 18 percent. The fiscal plan must be passed by Aug. 1.

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