Left-wing political party Meretz announced on Tuesday that it was leaving the ruling coalition of the Tel Aviv City Council after police arrested more than 80 people during violent social protests in the city on Saturday night.
Deputy Mayor Meital Lahavi (Meretz) turned in her resignation to Mayor Ron Huldai on Tuesday, writing that Huldai had promoted oppressive policies and torpedoed the social protest movement by sending in the police for political reasons, according to Israel Radio.
MK Dov Henin (Hadash) praised the Meretz faction members, saying “Huldai’s coalition is beginning to fall apart. Huldai is trying to prevent social protest in the city, and sends inspectors to beat demonstrators and destroy tents; he seems not to understand that in a democracy, a mayor does not have the right to decide whether or not there will be demonstrations,” according to Israel National News.
Daphni Leef, one of the leaders of the social protest movement, was arrested, along with seven other activists, in Tel Aviv, on Friday, after attempting to pitch tents on Rothschild Boulevard.
A demonstration in Tel Aviv Saturday night resulted in 85 arrests after crowds blocked roads and smashed bank windows.