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      Knesset Majority Calls for Cheaper Gas

      A majority of MKs call on PM Netanyahu to slash gasoline prices. National aid organization protests with horses, buggies.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 2/1/2011, 10:39 PM / Last Update: 2/2/2011, 5:17 AM

      Israel news photo

      Sixty-three Members of Knesset wrote to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, calling on him to reduce the price of gasoline. The cost of gas is at an all-time high of NIS 7.26 per liter following a recent price hike.

      MKs from both the coalition and the opposition signed the letter. “This appeal crosses party lines, and is motivated by humanitarian and moral – not political – concerns,” said MK Ronit Tirosh, who initiated the move.

      “The cries of the middle class and of the financially weak must be heard. MKs must make them heard,” she continued, adding, “We won't stop until the absurd and unnecessary tax on such a basic good is gone forever.”

      Tirosh noted that the hike in gas prices had hurt those who use public transportation as well as car owners, as the price hike caused the cost of bus tickets to rise. “The rise in the price of gas following increases in the price of water, housing, city tax, and other basic goods has created an intolerable situation...The public is collapsing,” she said.

      Protest: Horses Deliver Food Aid
      The Chasdei Naomi organization, which provides food aid, staged an original protest against the hike in gas prices this week after seeing the cost of food delivery soar to NIS 80,000 per month. Instead of using trucks to deliver food to distribution points, volunteers used horses and buggies.

      Rabbi Yosef Cohen, the head of Chasdei Naomi, explained that recent price hikes have hurt the poor in multiple ways. Not only has the price of the gas used to heat houses risen, but those in need may find that even the organizations that are meant to be there for them are unable to deal with the rising cost of operation.

      “That cannot happen!” he cried. “We spend tens of thousands of shekels on gas and oil, but even if we have to switch to delivery using horses and buggies like we used in our youth, we will meet the nearly impossible task of regular delivery in a timely manner.”