A group of US state legislators, activists and actors have launched a five-day hunger strike outside the White House calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
Among the strikers sitting in front of the White House on Monday are actor Cynthia Nixon and state legislators from New York and Delaware as well as activists from various organizations such as the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) and the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and prominent Muslim, Jewish and allied leaders.
Nixon, an American actor, said the week after Thanksgiving, a significant holiday in the US, sees people becoming distracted and unfocused due to the coming Christmas holiday in December.
She expressed concern that amid this distraction, the momentum built to stop the bombing and killing in Gaza, both within the US and globally, might be lost.
"And we are hunger-striking as a way of amplifying that yes, Palestinians are being bombed and killed, but they're also being starved, and so many of them are on the brink of starvation," she told Anadolu Agency.
Nixon said 70 percent of the nearly 15,000 Palestinians killed in the last seven weeks are women and children, calling it "unprecedented."
"This is more people than were killed by the US and its allies in 20 years of war in Afghanistan," she said.
Biden is not listening to what majority of Americans say
The strike came as Qatar announced the extension of the temporary humanitarian pause in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas for two additional days.
However, those who are attending the hunger strike in front of the White House think the pause needs to be "permanent."
New York State Representative Zohran Mamdani told the Anadolu Agency that although he welcomes the extension of the pause, it needs to become permanent.
"It needs to become a ceasefire," he said.
"The world that we are fighting for is one where every family is united. And the only way we can get there is through a cease-fire. It is not through bombing, it is not through war," he said.
On the message of the hunger strike, Mamdani said: "The message that I'm giving is to President (Joe) Biden, to call on him to demand an immediate ceasefire."
"This is a message that is grounded in my hope to save lives, because what we've seen over the past seven weeks is nearly 15,000 Palestinians killed by Israel," he said.
"We are here starving ourselves of any food for five days to bring a little light to what Palestinians are suffering through because of the policies of our president," he added.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Noveber 15, 68 percent of all American voters support a ceasefire in Gaza, saying that "Israel should call a ceasefire and try to negotiate."
Sumaya Awad, an activist, writer and director of strategy and communications at the Adalah Justice Project, said the Biden administration is not listening to what the majority of Americans say.
"Poll after poll shows that the vast majority of Americans across party lines support a cease-fire,” she said, adding that they want the US government to call for a permanent cease-fire.
"The reason we're doing a hunger strike, that we're employing this tactic, is because we feel like he has not listened to the hundreds of thousands of Americans that have taken on all sorts of types of protests across the country," she added.