Israeli trade and labor unions have launched a general strike over the rights of contract workers, shutting down city councils, schools, trains, banks, post offices, airports and the stock market.
The trade unions demand that the finance ministry improve the employment conditions of contract workers, including social workers and cleaners.
The unions started the strike on Wednesday after late-night talks between trade union umbrella group Histadrut and the finance ministry broke down.
Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv also shut down to leave thousands of travelers stranded.
Hospitals were operating with limited capacity due to the strike action that was organized by Histadrut. University staffers and social workers also joined the one-day walkout that came into effect at 6:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) Wednesday.
Reports say half a million Israeli public and private sector workers participated in the general strike. The unions accused the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of failing to improve the rights of contract workers.
Netanyahu warned that a strike would be counterproductive and that it “will not solve the problem of contract workers."
"The Israeli economy is in a delicate situation and now is not the time to risk the stability that we have achieved,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.