Peres visits Ashkelon 'to salute the residents' under fire

President says Israel doesn't want war but IDF will act to ensure Israeli mothers can sleep at night; "there's no alternative to peace talks."

By
August 22, 2011 15:19
2 minute read.
President Shimon Peres visiting Ashdod

President Shimon Peres visiting Ashdod 311. (photo credit: Marc Neiman / GPO)

President Shimon Peres on Monday paid a solidarity visit to Ashdod, to help strengthen the morale of the population, which is under constant threat of rocket fire from Gaza and suffered numerous rocket strikes in recent days.

Peres was briefed by Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri whom he told: "I came to Ashdod to salute the residents, who have stood firm in the face of terrorist threats and rockets. I am extremely proud of them."

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While Israel is not interested in yet another war or any kind of escalation of violence in the region said Peres, the security forces and the IDF are on the alert and ready to act instantly to ensure that Israeli mothers will be able to sleep more peacefully at night.

In a message to neighboring countries, Peres said that to achieve peace, all that is required is a majority who want it. Terrorism requires only a small group of fanatics.

He reiterated that Israel is genuinely interested in peace with all her neighbors, and first and foremost with the Palestinians. "There is no alternative to peace negotiations," he said.

Following his meeting with Lasri at City Hall, Peres continued on to the Ashdod Mall to meet with local youth and to hear their views on the situation. At the Hafuch al Hafuch coffee shop which is a hang-out for young people, one of the girls asked Peres whether he couldn't use his influence to ensure that Ashdod gets an Iron Dome battery system.

Peres replied that Israel was one of the first countries in the world to utilize the Iron Dome battery. In the final analysis, he said, "it will be proved that those who send missiles in our direction will be responsible for the development of anti-missile technologies such as those which we have already developed."

Peres said that Israel was working towards more advanced anti-missile systems that would help to protect additional areas in the south of the country.

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