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Hunger-striking women's group hopes to bring peace to Israel

Members of the Women Wage Peace movement — a group of women from all sectors, ages and communities — hope that their recent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will add another layer to the public movement they are building for peace with the Palestinians.
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A week after having concluded their hunger strike near the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, the activists of Women Wage Peace were invited for a meeting Sept. 1 with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The meeting was organized by the premier’s special envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, at the request of one of the movement’s activists and co-founders, retired Justice Saviona Rotlevy. The female activists started their hunger strike on the occasion of the first anniversary of Operation Protective Edge (July-August 2014) and the movement’s establishment. They called on Netanyahu to promote a diplomatic arrangement to end the conflict. The hunger strike lasted for 50 days, similar to the duration of the operation in Gaza last summer. It saw the participation of some 300 men and women who joined the protest in rotating shifts throughout the summer months. Putting the hunger strike in the context of last summer, they dubbed their protest Tzom Eitan (Protective Fast), playing on the operation’s Hebrew code name.

During the protest, the prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, invited the women into her home, and in the conversation that ensued she asked them where the Palestinian women were. She then advised the female activists to address their protest to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in light of his intransigence and the way he has chosen to boycott Israel.

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