President Rivlin visits 4-yr-old attack victim in hospital

August 2, 2015 Agencies
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Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin visited four-year-old Ahmed Dawabsha being treated in Tel HaShomer hospital following an arson terror attack on his family’s home in Duma, in which his baby brother Ali, was killed.

 

Photo: Mark Neyman

President Reuven Rivlin visits Ahmed Dawabsha Photo: Mark Neyman

The President was accompanied by director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Tel HaShomer Sheba Medical Center, Prof. Yossi Hayek, as he visited the bed of Ahmed, and spoke with members of the family who were by his side.

President Rivlin spoke with the nurses and doctors treating Ahmed, who updated the President on the seriousness of the child’s condition, along with that of his mother who was also being treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit in a serious condition. The President also received an update on the situation of the father of the family, who was being treated in Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

The President asked the father’s uncle, who was with Ahmed, to express his deepest condolences to the family, and said that at this difficult time, the entire people were praying for their well-being, and that the security forces were working tirelessly to bring the perpetrators of terrible attack to justice.

Following his visit, the President told media, “We awoke this morning to a day of sorrow, I feel a sense of shame, and moreover a sense of pain. Pain over seeing a child, whose brother was burned, and whose parents are fighting for their lives. It is difficult to see that there are those within my people capable of such acts. The shame is great, though the pain is greater. It must be understood by both sides that terror cannot be allowed in our region. It is not enough simply to talk about the need to fight terror – we need to fight terror. What we demand of our neighbors, from those with whom we fight, from those who have been our enemies for over a century – to bring an end to terrorism – we must also demand of ourselves.

“I spoke with the members of the family who told me of the good relationship of the father and mother, now fighting for their lives, with their Jewish neighbors. We stand before them, and must explain that such terror is not our path, it is not your path, it is not the path of the State of Israel, or of the Jewish people. Words alone will not suffice.

“We have returned to our homeland, and from a position of sovereignty we must maintain law and order, and prevent all forms of inexplicable horrors, in the name of any kind of religious conviction, from any side. Enough! The Government, the State, and the citizens of Israel must say – we will have no part in this. We cannot tolerate terrorism. It cannot be allowed that in the name of one or another ideology, churches, synagogues, mosques, or people are burned. It is utterly shameful.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also spent time at Ahmed’s bedside. He said: “I just came from the bedside of four-year old Ahmed Sa’ed. Sixty percent of his body is burned.

We’re doing everything we can to save this young boy, to give him a life. His parents are in other parts of the Israeli health system. We’re trying to give them the best treatment to save their lives. When you stand next to the bed of this small child, and his infant brother had been so brutally murdered, we’re shocked, we’re outraged. We condemn this.

There is zero tolerance for terrorism wherever it comes from, whatever side of the fence it comes from, we have to fight it and fight it together.

I spoke to President Abu Mazen right before I entered the hospital. I told him of this visit and of Israel’s absolute commitment to find the perpetrators, bring them to justice. We have to calm the spirits and recommit ourselves to our joint battle against terrorism and extremism.

It’s something that all parts of the Israeli government and all parts of Israeli society agree on. It’s important that we make a common cause with our Palestinian neighbors to give ourselves a better future – a future free of violence, free of terror, a future of peace.”

 

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