Rivlin visits the South

May 14, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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President Reuven Rivlin yesterday visited Ashkelon and the area around Gaza.

President Rivlin with Eshkol regional council situation room staff Photo: Mark Neyman

After touring Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, he continued his visit to the Eshkol regional council and met its head, Gadi Yarkoni, Mayor of Sderot Alon Davidi and head of Sha’ar Hanegev local council Ofir Libstein.

The local leaders told the president of the tension of the last few days and the incessant fire under which residents of the area are living. They noted that the people of the area are prepared to do so for as long as required if it brings quiet at the end and that they implore the IDF and the political leadership to continue hitting the terrorists and to stop the missile fire.

“We live on the front line, under fire. In this operation, too, we are fighting for our home, for our kindergartens and schools, for our paths and our fields. This is a war for a normal way of life. In these difficult days, we are all exposed, and you are even more exposed,” said the president to the local leadership.

We are fighting a cruel, extremist and murderous terrorist organization that doesn’t give the slightest thought to the future and the wellbeing of the people of Gaza, but rather aims to harm and destroy the State of Israel. Hamas is building terrorist bases in hospitals, mosques, schools, residential blocks. It continues to invest its energies in military build-up, tunnels and planning murderous attacks on the State of Israel. We are not complacent. This is not an easy battle, but we are determined to deal the enemy a severe and decisive blow.”

The president spoke to the public and asked them to continue following the IDF Homefront Command’s instructions. “The iron wall we have built, together with our Iron Dome, protect our people from those who seek our harm. But this defense is not absolute, and it will not be comprehensive without the discipline of Israel’s people behind the lines. Following the Homefront Command’s instructions is vital to strengthening our defences and preventing loss of life.”

He added: “Over the last few days, I have spoken to leaders around the world and told them that we want their support for Israel, support for our right to defend the security of our people and a demand that Hamas takes responsibility for its actions and for the lives of the people. Hamas terrorists cannot imagine the damage and destruction they will suffer because of our determination. The days when Hamas opens fire and decides when there will be quiet are over. Terrorist organizations need to understand that anyone who opens fire on our citizens will be met with fire from our forces and we will use it as required, with determination and responsibility, until we ensure the security of our people, all across the country, irrespective of how close they are to the border.

We will not allow anyone to set this patch of God’s earth afire. That is the responsibility and the commitment of the State of Israel in this round, and in the days after it.”

Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol regional council commented: “We have been honoured with a visit from the President of Israel, a warm hug that gives us strength, at the height of a difficult battle and under intensive rocket fire. As is his wont, the president has come to stand with the people who are under fire and be with us as one of the people. This is not to be taken for granted. We appreciate it and thank him for his support and great love. These are difficult days, but we will be patient and give our full backing to the IDF to complete the military moves until its aims are achieved, on condition that they bring a change in the balance of forces and that we do not go back to our previous reality.”

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