Disability rights groups protest over government benefits, block rail tracks

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Disability rights activists blocked railroad tracks in northern Israel on Wednesday morning in a bid to increase the government benefits.

The protests take place in the vicinity of Atlit, south of Haifa, and the groups demand that the benefits would be brought in line with the minimum wage.

Earlier this morning, a group of people with disabilities obstructed train traffic further south, near the Habonim beach, halting train service between Haifa and Binyamina.

While some advocacy groups have come to an agreement with the Finance Ministry on disability benefits in recent months, others believe that what the government has offered is insufficient and are pressing for higher levels of support. They say that their goal is to require the government to abide by an earlier agreement that was signed with the entire coalition of groups.

Additional protests will be organized in the coming days to press their case. Some of the locations will include the Knesset and the homes of cabinet members, as well as members of the Knesset, the protesting groups said.

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“We will continue to disrupt life in the country until the Israeli government understands that a disabled person in the country is not second class, and life with disability benefits less than the minimum wage is a life of poverty and insulting,” the groups said in a statement.

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