JERUSALEM: Thousands of Israeli women protested against domestic violence in a nationwide strike on Tuesday, calling for more action and state funding to deal with the problem.
The strike came after two girls were killed last week, bringing the number of women and girls murdered in Israel this year to 24, according to Israeli media reports.
Women were staying home from work and holding demonstrations in cities throughout Israel, some blocking roads.
Protesters observed a moment of silence to mark the 24 deaths this year.
“Bibi, wake up, our blood is not cheap,” protesters chanted near the entrance to Jerusalem, referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his nickname. The road had been smeared with red paint, symbolising the blood of victims.
Speaking on Sunday, Netanyahu mentioned a recent visit to a women’s shelter, following which he decided to head the governmental committee to combat domestic violence.
“We will convene the committee time after time,” he pledged, “to bring a better future and hope for these women.”
Members of the opposition, however, accused the government of failing to fund the existing program to deal with the problem.
“It’s all a matter of priorities,” Ksenia Svetlova of the Zionist Union said during a parliamentary hearing.
She said 250 million shekels ($67 million) for the program had not been transferred.
“The welfare offices are on the brink of collapse,” said Svetlova.
A central rally was planned for Tuesday evening in Tel Aviv.