Thousands of women rally for peace outside PM’s home
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Thousands of women rally for peace outside PM’s home

Jerusalem protest is culmination of two-week march from the north to call for accord with Palestinians

Hundreds of women from the 'Women Wage Peace' movement take part in a march in support of peace in Jerusalem on October 19, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Hundreds of women from the 'Women Wage Peace' movement take part in a march in support of peace in Jerusalem on October 19, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Thousands of women marched through Jerusalem on Wednesday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence, calling on him to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

The protest was the culmination of a 200-kilometer (about 125-mile), two-week march from the north of the country to Jerusalem, by Women Wage Peace, an organization comprising Jewish and Arab women, formed after Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza.

As they reached Jerusalem, the marchers were joined by Liberian activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Roberta Gbowee, as well as thousands of other women. Organizers estimated that some 10,000 people took part, while police put the number at a far lower 2,500.

“We demand that our leaders work with respect and courage towards a solution to the ongoing violent conflict, with the full participation of women in this process,” the march organizers said in a statement. “Only an honorable political agreement will secure the future of our children and grandchildren.”

Negotiation efforts between Israel and the Palestinians have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in April 2014.

In the last few days, the group also met with Jordanian women on the Island of Peace in Naharayim on the Jordan River.

Gbowee, the Liberian activist, also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama.

Rivlin told Gbowee, who led the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement, which was instrumental in bringing an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003, that her actions were “a true inspiration.”

She was awarded the Nobel in 2011.

President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama meet with Liberian Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee in Jerusalem on October 19, 2016. (Roie Berkowitz/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama meet with Liberian Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee in Jerusalem on October 19, 2016. (Roie Berkowitz/GPO)
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