President Rivlin visits Tel Aviv injured

January 4, 2016 Agencies
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Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has visited injured victims of the terrorist attack which took place in Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon.

President Rivlin visits the hospital treating the injured Photo: Mark Neiman/Ichilov Hospital

President Rivlin visits the hospital treating the injured
Photo: Mark Neiman/Ichilov Hospital

At the  Ichilov Hospital the President was welcomed by Tzachi Lazan, brother of Ido Lazan who was severely hurt in the shooting attack on Friday and is hospitalised in the Ichilov. The President joined the family in their relief as just a few minutes before the President arrived Ido had opened his eyes. He was being treated for a stomach injury in the intensive care unit, along with Dror Reicher who was being treated in the neurosurgery intensive care unit for a head injury. Both were in a serious but stable condition.

“These are difficult times for all Israeli citizens and I am here to listen and to be together with you. Together, alongside children in kindergartens and parents who woke up in fear this morning; alongside the wounded and the terrified families – all of us together,” the President said as he left the hospital, accompanied by Professor Ronni Gamzu Director General of Ichilov Hospital and the Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

The President added, “We are in a situation where there are lots of pieces of the puzzles missing. However, we rely on the police and the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) who know how to do their jobs and how to bring this affair to a close. Tel Aviv needs to keep up the routine – terrorism cannot defeat us.”

Prof. Ronni Gamzu Director General of the hospital, said, “We know the importance of the administering of medical care as quickly as possible and here too the readiness of the medical staff has proven itself in reducing casualties immediately, in the operating room and the delivery of professional care in the shortest amount of time. I hope that the situation of the wounded will get better in the coming days.”

The President thanked the hospital staff and expressed his appreciation and support for their dedication and hard work.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said, “I understand the worry and concern in light of the fact that the killer has not been caught yet. The Municipality of Tel Aviv along with the Israeli police and the security forces are making an effort to increase as much as possible the security around schools and crowded places. Hopefully, the event will end with apprehending the terrorist”.

Visiting the scene a day after the attack  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Yesterday there was a heinous and unbelievably vicious murder here. Young people, whose entire lives were ahead of them, the ages of my own children, were innocently sitting celebrating a birthday and were murdered in cold blood. I would like to send heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were murdered and wishes for a complete and quick recovery to the wounded. We are praying for their well-being.

The Israel Police and ISA are working around the clock to apprehend the murderer. I just received a comprehensive briefing on their operations. They, the security forces of the State of Israel, are working to the best of their abilities. The photograph of the murderer has been published; additional photographs of him will also be published. We have reinforced our units in all relevant areas. I request that the public be on maximum alert.

I appreciate the condemnations of the crime that have been made by the Arab public. I must say that I expect all Arab MKs, all of them without exception, to clearly condemn the murder without hesitation. Murder is murder, and must be condemned and acted against from whatever quarter.

Among Israel’s Muslim citizens there are many elements that have come out against the violence and wish for full law enforcement in their communities. However, we all know that there is wild radical Islamic incitement against the State of Israel in the Arab sector. There is incitement in mosques, in the educational system and in social media. We are taking strong action against this incitement just as we did when we outlawed the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and the Mourabitoun. I am not prepared to accept two States of Israel, a state of law for most of its citizens and a state within a state for some of them, in enclaves in which there is no law enforcement and in which there is Islamist incitement, rampant crime and illegal weapons that are frequently fired at events such as weddings. This era has ended.

I have formulated a plan, along with the Public Security Minister and the Israel Police Inspector General, a plan with a lot of money and resources. We will dramatically increase law enforcement services in the Arab sector. Israel will enforce the law and its sovereignty in all parts of the country – in the Galilee, the Negev and the Triangle, everywhere. We will build new police stations, recruit more police and go into all communities and demand from all of them loyalty to the laws of the state. One cannot say ‘I am an Israeli in rights and a Palestinian in obligations.’ Whoever wants to be Israeli should be an Israeli all the way, both in rights and in obligations, and the first and highest obligation is to obey the laws of the state.

I view positively the increasing involvement in the IDF, in civilian service and in the overall life of the state, of the Christian, Druze and northern Bedouin communities, and within the Muslim community as well. I call on all citizens of Israel, especially its Muslim citizens, to take the path of integration, coexistence and peace and not the path of incitement, hatred and fanaticism. We are all citizens of the state and are all bound to maintain it and uphold its laws.

At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The security forces – the ISA and the Israel Police – are continuing to search for the Tel Aviv murderer. A major effort in the field is being made by many forces; there are continuous intelligence efforts. This effort is also being made with the assistance of Israeli civilians who are showing awareness and responsibility.

I will ask the Public Security Minister to deliver a short briefing and I would also like to update you on something else. When we formed the government, I asked Minister Erdan, and afterwards the Inspector General of the Israel Police, to make a major effort to change something which has prevailed in the State of Israel for almost 70 years and this is the absence of law enforcement in the Arab sector. The citizens themselves are suffering there; they are suffering from increasing crime, and all citizens of Israel are suffering from the incitement and the violence, which is both criminal and nationalistic, that harms all citizens of Israel. Therefore, this effort is a genuine effort. We have decided to make this change and promote the enforcement of the law in all areas: In construction laws that are not being enforced at all, in the laws regarding the noise that we hear from mosques, in the incitement from mosques, and – of course – on social media and, sadly, in the education system, and the basic matter of collecting illegal weapons that are found in very great quantities in the Arab sector. This activity has started, it will be carried out, it will be carried out in the coming days and it will gather momentum, because we will make a very great effort so that the State of Israel will be a unified nation of law. This is the right thing. I am not impressed by the criticism on this issue. This is right for all citizens of Israel – Arabs and Jews alike.

Enforcing the law is the life’s breath of democracy, of the rule of law. We are not restricting it to one sector and we are not focusing on only one sector. This morning two indictments will be filed against those involved in the Duma affair. We are against murder of any kind. We are against violence of any kind. We are against violations of the law wherever they occur. We are a state of law and we will enforce the law throughout the State of Israel and vis-à-vis all citizens of Israel.”

In Australia the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) has condemned the deadly Tel Aviv shooting that claimed the lives of 26 year-old Alon Bakal and 30 year-old Shimon Ruimi and left seven people injured. Nashat Milhem, an Israeli Arab from Arara, a village in northern Israel, has been identified as the suspected gunman who is still at large.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the ADC, issued the following statement: “This was a black day of grief and heartbreak. We mourn the deaths of Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi and extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. We pray for the speedy and full recovery of the wounded, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel at this difficult time. This evil act, and the wave of violence that has engulfed Israel over the last few months has meant that Israelis cannot live their normal lives without the ongoing fear and threat of terror.

We hope that Israel’s law enforcement agencies swiftly arrest the perpetrator of this heinous and brutal assault and that they receive the harshest prison sentence possible if found guilty. As always, the ADC stands in solidarity with the state of Israel and its government as it takes all necessary measures to protect its citizens.”

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