Enduring the summer heat, a group of women from across the country are camped outside the Prime Minister’s Residence. Their aim: to implore Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to renew peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Organized by Women Wage Peace, a grassroots organization established nearly a year ago, the women have embarked on a symbolic 50-day fast. Each participant is fasting 50 hours at some point during the period of the demonstration, which began July 8 and runs to August 26, the same dates as 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.
The women have set up a tent on Azza Street, around the corner from the Prime Minister’s Residence, both to guard them from the sun and to provide a safe space where women can discuss how best to end the conflict.
The last round of negotiations, brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, collapsed in April 2014 after nine months in which Israeli and Palestinian negotiators attempted to deliver a framework agreement of a final status peace treaty.
Shortly after the talks fell through, a series of violent acts — the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas members, followed by the murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir by Jewish extremists — erupted into the 50-day Operation Protective Edge.