Thousands of women attend “march of hope”, call on regional governments to make peace

Thousands of women demonstrating for peace, attended a rally in both Jerusalem and the West Bank. The women called on both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to take steps to reach a political agreement. Hadassah Froman, the widow of Rabbi Menachem Froman, and her daughter-in-law Michal Froman, who was injured in a stabbing attack in 2015, attended the rally. The protest, titled the “March of Hope”, started two weeks ago at the Rosh Hanikra border crossing between Israel and Lebanon and culminated with a rally in front of the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

“Our goal, when we come from the North to here, and walk from here in a march to Jerusalem, is to achieve this goal (of peace) that we have come for,” said Farida Osama, Israeli Resident. “I (am) coming here to make peace with all the neighbors here, Jordan, Palestine, Israel. To live together in peace,” said Tova Cohen, Israeli Resident.

Women from other countries also took part in the event. Altogether, Police estimated that some 20,000 women attended the protest outside of the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

This is my first time participating in this program; it has women from all over the world, who have come here for peace. We have met people from the North, people from, Canada, including others from other countries. Their goal is to come to the crossing points and to confirm the notion of peace, that we are nations who want peace,” said Hawalla Awade, Palestinian Resident.

The protesters also held a multi-faith prayer service for peace at Qasr al-Yahud, where it is believed that Jesus was baptized, located on the Israeli-Jordanian border. Some 1,000 Palestinian women participated, along with hundreds of Jordanian women on the other side of the border. The event was organized by a grassroots movement called ‘Women Wage Peace’.