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via BBC News

At least a quarter of a million Israelis have staged marches over the rising cost of living.

The largest protest was in Tel Aviv where police said at least 200,000 people were on the streets, while another 30,000 marched in Jerusalem.

In one of biggest waves of protests in decades in Israel, demonstrators are demanding government action to reduce the cost of housing and food.

Some protesters have also set up camp in city centres.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld that as well as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, an estimated 20,000 people had taken part in protests in other towns and cities.

“Our numbers are more than 250,000 people across the country,” he told AFP news agency.

Israeli media put the number of protesters closer to 300,000.

It was the third Saturday of protests in a row.

The BBC’s Wyre Davies in Jerusalem says most of those taking part were middle-class professionals who say their salaries cannot cover basic expenses including housing and childcare.

The protesters have been inspired by social uprisings in the Middle East but instead of seeking political change are demanding that the government take action over the soaring cost of living, he adds.

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