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The protests over housing costs have tapped into wider discontent among Israelis over the high cost of living and the growing gaps between rich and poor.

Other protests include doctors striking over working conditions and pay, parents demonstrating against expensive child-rearing costs and similar outpourings over increasing gas prices.

Thousands thronged the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other major cities and chanted, “The people demand social justice.” Protesters waved Israeli flags and placards that read: “Work 3 jobs but don’t make ends meet,” “Killing ourselves to live” and “Social gaps are killing us.”

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said more than 100,000 people protested in 10 cities across the country from Beersheba in the south to Kiryat Shmoneh at the northern tip of the country Saturday night. Police closed major streets for the protesters to march.

The demonstrations began two weeks ago in Tel Aviv, where young activists set up a small tent encampment in a central neighborhood to draw attention to the country’s housing crunch. The protests, inspired in part by unrest in neighboring Arab countries, have continued to gain steam and show no signs of slowing.

From wire dispatches and staff reports