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Demonstrators Across Israel Protest Violence Against Women

Hundreds of red shoes filled Tel Aviv's Habima Square on Tuesday, part of a nationwide protest to push the government to address violence against women.

Protesters across Israel on Tuesday criticized what they say is the government's failure to address violence against women.

Activists carried signs bearing the names of women killed this year, lit candles and blocked city streets. Some demonstrators lay in the roads, with fake blood splattered across their clothes, and clutching stuffed animals. In Tel Aviv, protesters displayed shoes that had been dyed red. In Jerusalem, a fountain spouted red fluid, resembling blood.

Media outlets reported that people chanted for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "wake up, our blood is not cheap."

The protest was a reaction to the killings of 24 women this year by a partner, family member or person they knew, according to local media: One woman was reportedly stabbed to death by her husband hours after visiting a lawyer. Another was allegedly attacked by her son with a hammer.

Last week, the bodies of 13-year-old Silvana Tsegai and 16-year-old Yara Ayoub were discovered in Israel, The Los Angeles Times reported. Authorities said both were killed by men they knew.

"We had to do something radical, to make sure that women in Israel show the government that we are not going to take this anymore," organizer Ruti Klein told The Associated Press.

Netanyahu stoked criticism when he voted against a proposal to establish a parliamentary inquiry into women who had been killed. Protesters called for more action and more funding to stop the violence.

It follows a United Nations report filed last year which concluded that the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty of 1992 "serves as Israel's bill of rights," but that the legislation upholds equality between men and women "only in the public sphere." Some 200,000 women were victims of domestic violence between 2014 and 2015, the report stated.

Women of the Wall, a group that has long advocated for greater rights for women praying at Jerusalem's Western Wall, tweeted a note of solidarity "with a national movement protesting violence against women in Israel - because women's lives are not up for grabs. This battle is all of ours."

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