In a statement to the Cabinet, Netanyahu said: "We are not neglecting – neither as a result of our security responsibility nor of our economic responsibility – anything regarding our responsibility to implement social reform in the State of Israel. We are doing this."
Netanyahu noted other socioeconomic steps that the government is already enacting: "There are the dramatic steps that we are taking in transportation infrastructure, the free dental care that we are giving to Israeli children, the lowering of cellular telephone costs, and the 45,000 new housing starts that are influencing the construction market."
Protesters put up tent encampents in Israel's cities in the past two months and have been holding demonstrations almost every week, calling for cheaper housing and other economic reforms. They have been goaded on by the press, and have received support from the New Israel Fund. Some nationalists suspect that the protest is a leftist ploy to destabilize the government.