Mourners gather in Israel to honor memory of longtime peace activist Vivian Silver
KIBBUTZ GEZER, Israel — Hundreds of friends and fellow activists gathered Thursday for a service honoring the memory of Vivian Silver, a Canadian Israeli peace activist.
Silver was declared dead this week and was identified by her remains found at her home in Kibbutz Be'eri, Israel. It was thought she might have been held hostage in Gaza following the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7.
Silver, 74, spent her life pursuing peace in the region, her son, Yonatan Zeigen, told NPR in October. After the war in Gaza in 2014, Silver co-founded Women Wage Peace, which lobbies for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict and brings together women from both Israeli and Palestinian societies. She also served on the board of directors of B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization.
Silver regularly volunteered for the organization Road to Recovery, which provided transportation for sick Palestinians from Gaza to Israel for medical treatment.
On Oct. 7, Hamas militants killed an estimated 1,200 people and kidnapped another 240 in Israeli towns, according to Israeli officials. To date, more than 11,000 people have been killed by Israel's military response, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health.
"She believed in the end of this cursed conflict and that people in Gaza and in the Gaza envelope inside of Israel deserved to live in peace," Ghadir Hani, a friend and fellow peace activist, said at the service.
The service for Silver concluded with an impromptu medley of peace songs sung by her fellow Women Wage Peace members.
Maya Levinis an independent photographer based in Tel Aviv.
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