Some 200 people protested at a main Tel Aviv junction on Thursday, temporarily blocking it and calling on the government to halt the partial annexation of the West Bank.
The rally, organized by Women Wage Peace, took place near Ayalon Highway’s Hashalom interchange. Demonstrators carried posters reading, “Stopping the annexation, waging peace” and chanted, “Implementing sovereignty will lead to violence,” and “Stop the annexation, we want a safe future.” The annexation process is slated to take place on July 1.
The protesters blocked part of Hashalom interchange, yelling “The annexation is blocking peace.”
They then marched to the nearby government complex, where activists gave speeches and called on the government to bring about regional stability and a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Orna, a Women Wage Peace activist, said: “We’re blocking Hashalom interchange to demonstrate that a unilateral annexation will block peace, block any chance of a peace agreement in the future and leave us in a dead end.”
Leila, a protester from Tel Aviv, said it was important to demonstrate against the annexation even though the public shows little interest in the issue. “People aren’t aware of the issue so we’re raising awareness of it,” she said. “I won’t sit idly by and let it die, we will relive the idea and the desire for peace. I am here because I believe we need peace, equality and humanity.”
“We’re here opposite the Defense Ministry, to warn of the dangers of the annexation,” said Zehava Isakowitz, reading from a letter to Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
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“You promised to promote a peace agreement and strive for peace. You spoke of responsible strategic moves but not of such a reckless step. There was no discussion, the public knows nothing about the plan’s details. Implementing sovereignty unilaterally will expose soldiers to constant danger in the heart of the civilian population and in Gaza. You enlisted at a difficult hour, driven by commitment to Israel and its people. Don’t make a one-sided move that 70 percent of the state doesn’t support,” she said.
“We came to demonstrate against the annexation,” said Nadia, who traveled to the protest from Wadi Ara. “It will prevent peace and spoil the peace treaty with Jordan and Egypt. Instead of going forward they’re going backward. Instead of focusing on the economy, health and education, they’re wasting money on annexation.”