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Protesters offered cash to tie up Ben-Gurion Airport, says report

Drivers asked to cause traffic jams there as part of a “Day of Resistance” against the judicial reforms.

Israelis protest in Tel Aviv against the government's judicial reform plan on March 4, 2023. Photo by Gili Yaari /Flash90.
Israelis protest in Tel Aviv against the government's judicial reform plan on March 4, 2023. Photo by Gili Yaari /Flash90.

Organizers of protests against the Israeli government’s proposed judicial reforms have offered to pay people to disrupt traffic at the country’s main international gateway on Thursday, as part of a “Day of National Disruption,” according to a report by Israel National News.

A WhatsApp message sent out by the organizers reportedly is offering to refund the cost of fuel to drive to and from Ben-Gurion International Airport, plus 250 shekels, the equivalent of around $70.

“Want to make a few shekels this Thursday?” the message reads. “Come and shut down Ben-Gurion Airport, and you’ll get 250 shekels plus gasoline.”

Last Wednesday, thousands of demonstrators blocked roads, disrupted rail service and marched in cities across the country as part of what was dubbed a “Day of National Disruption.” Demonstrators blocking the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv turned violent, clashing with police. Several arrests were made.

However, attempting to disrupt busy Ben-Gurion Airport would take the protests to a new level.

In the internal WhatsApp message, the demonstrators are instructed to drive slowly back and forth between the airport entrance and the main terminal, Terminal 3. “The more cars there are, the bigger the impact at the airport for more hours. The idea is to enjoy a slow drive around the airport. Bring music, podcasts,” it reads.

After the offer to pay protesting drivers emerged, organizers claimed it wasn’t serious: “By the way, this was all trolling. Needless to say anyone who comes does so on a voluntary basis and pays his own way,” they said.

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