President Rivlin Visits Netivot

reuven rivlin
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meeting with civilian and military officials in the southern city of Netivot on Tuesday. (Mark Neiman/ GPO)

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin visited the southern Israeli city of Netivot on Tuesday, where residents have been under fire from Hamas rockets.

The president began his visit at the emergency operations center in the city where he received briefings from those responsible for maintaining normal daily life: IDF Homefront Command, rescue services, security services and social services.

Mayor Yehiel Zohar told the president how buildings are protected in the city and about the events of the last 24 hours. “There is no substitute for listening to the orders of the IDF Homefront Command,” he emphasized. “There is excellent coordination between all the emergency services in the city and we are improving it all the time.”

The president also heard details about the work of the psychological and mental support services in the city, and the help given to children and the population as a whole after yesterday’s missile attacks.

The president offered his support to the people of Netivot and the area and said, “We are all under attack, under fire, whose aim is to disrupt our daily life. Your strength gives us all strength. I have said in the past and I will continue to say, the area around Gaza is the whole of Israel. When the sirens are screaming here, we hear them in our hearts in Yerushalayim, Tel Aviv and all over the country.”

Apparently referring to public pressure for a stronger response from the IDF, perhaps including ground forces, Rivlin said: “We must give the political and military leadership the breathing room and space to lead us in this conflict. Our responsibility is for the safety of our citizens and the routine of daily life, and then the safety of our soldiers. That responsibility is uppermost in our minds now and in the future.”

The president then visited one of the shelters in the town and met residents of Netivot, including the elderly and babies, where he repeated his appeals to follow the IDF’s orders: “Forget about photos. There are plenty of people whose job that is. I ask you to get into a protected space and keep safe.”

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