Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his promise on Sunday to provide speedy financial help for self-employed workers after thousands protested against what they see as a failed government response to the economic crisis wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
Netanyahu said at his weekly Cabinet meeting that workers would receive an immediate stipend and could expect a safety net for the next 12 months.
He said he would work to ease bureaucratic hurdles and would hold dialogues with workers’ representatives to solve outstanding issues.
Netanyahu’s remarks come after some 10,000 people demonstrated in central Tel Aviv on Saturday, demanding that the government fulfill the promises it made to assist Israelis imperiled financially because of virus restrictions.
The protest came as anger has swelled over Netanyahu’s handling of the crisis. Critics say the money promised in previous plans hasn’t been doled out or has been insufficient.
Israel recently reimposed restrictions because of a spike in COVID-19 cases, closing bars, events spaces and other venues.