President Rivlin visits the F-16 crew

February 12, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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President Reuven Rivlin has visited the pilot and navigator injured yesterday during an operation in the north of Israel, and who were being treated at Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

Photo: Mark Neiman/GPO

During his visit, the President visited the bedside of the combat pilot whose condition was graded as moderate, and met his family; his wife and infant son, and his parents.

The President sat and spoke at length with the navigator who was lightly injured and was due to be released from hospital later in the day. The President was accompanied on his visit by the hospital’s director and deputy director, Prof. Rafi Beyar and Dr. Mickey Halbertal, the doctor who operated on the pilot, Dr. Hany Bahouth, and head of ICU, Dr. Yaron Bar-Lavie.

The President thanked the pilot and navigator, and spoke with their families about the moments of anxiety, and the relief at their recovery.

Before departing, the President spoke with the media gathered at the hospital. He said, “I was pleased to see the two airmen together, and that each of them were recovering at a swift pace. This is an opportunity to thank Rambam hospital for their ability, and uncompromising dedication to care for our soldiers.”

He added, “Once again we saw our teams in operation after much training, and demonstrating their DNA of devotion to achieving the goal – not returning home until the mission is completed.   This is the most important value against our enemies. All those who wish us ill should know we will not allow them to disrupt the lives of the citizens of our country, and that we will not stand by in the face of those who seek to do so. My thanks go to all the security forces, and specifically to the air crews, for their uncompromising commitment.”

When asked on the involvement of Iran, the President said, “We constantly warn our friends in the world who think they can reach an arrangement with Iran. As far as we are concerned, we are not only talking about a nuclear danger, but also about a state that supports terrorism. We have Hizbullah in the north, we have Hamas in the south, and we have Iran behind them, and Israel will not stand by as Iran wishes us ill and says so outright. The Prime Minister was right yesterday, when he warned that everyone in the world, the powers and countries, know that we cannot accept Iran’s involvement here in our borders, at our gates.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added:  “A few minutes ago I spoke with the navigator and was pleased to hear that he is standing up, with all that entails. I was also pleased to hear that there has been an improvement in the condition of the pilot. We wish both of them a quick and full recovery. We salute our pilots, soldiers and commanders, especially the Chief-of-Staff. They are guarding the State of Israel and we are proud of them.

Yesterday we dealt severe blows to the Iranian and Syrian forces. We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules of action have not changed one bit; we will continue to strike at every attempt to strike at us. This has been our policy and it will remain our policy.

I would also like to say that I am proud of you, the citizens of Israel. Yesterday we again proved that in moments of crisis we know how to come together and rebuff our enemies and guard our country.”

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