Fuel Protests Spread to Israel
September 18, 2000
Truckers threatened to block roads for more than a week as cab drivers slowed traffic on Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway yesterday to protest an increase in the price of diesel fuel.
According to Associated Press reports, two convoys of trucks are planning to position themselves from the northern Israeli ports of Acre and Haifa and drive slowly down the coastal highway, and a third will leave the southern port of Ashdod and drive north to the center of the country.
Police Commissioner Yehuda Wilk met with Truckers Association Chairman Gabi Ben-Harush to try to limit the protest, warning him that those blocking roads would face prosecution.
However, truckers said they would not give in. "Our people have a contingency plan for 10 days," said Ben-Harush on an Israel army radio show. "The more difficult the police make it for us, the worse the traffic jams will get."
Diesel fuel prices went up more than 13 percent at midnight Saturday in response to rising prices worldwide, reported AP.
Protests against rising fuel prices have been sweeping across Europe, beginning in France, where truckers eventually received a tax break.