A top Israeli health official has condemned Tel Aviv economic protests on Saturday evening as a "health terror attack", i24 News reports.
As many as 10,000 Israelis headed to Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to demonstrate against the government's "insufficient" economic support for citizens during the COVID-19 crisis, which has seen the loss of 800,000 jobs, with claims that lockdown and public restrictions had ravaged small businesses and independent workers.
Likud's Yoav Kisch, Deputy Health Minister, slammed the protestors, who were reportedly standing in close proximity of one another.
Kisch hit out on Twitter, saying: "We're doing everything to prevent gatherings and are paying a high price (socially and economically) in order to stop the virus and then see images from the square yesterday. A mega health terror attack."
However, Defense Minister Benny Gantz contradicted the Likud politician and offered his support to the protesters.
Gantz said in a social media post: "The citizens who took to the streets express real, justified distress and they have the right to do so."
"We, as a government, have a responsibility to listen and provide solutions."
20 demonstrators were reportedly arrested at the protest.
Tel Aviv has been hit by a spate of protests recently in support of Black Lives Matter and against annexation, with strict social distancing and COVID-19 precautions put in place by organisers.
At least 358 Israelis have died since the health crisis arrived in Israel, with more than 38,200 people being infected.