Netanyahu to security forces: 'There's no knowing how many lives you have saved'

PM addresses soldiers, border policemen who thwarted terrorist attacks; says Israel "prays for peace," but continues to strengthen security forces.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets Border Police, soldiers (photo credit: POOL)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets Border Police, soldiers
(photo credit: POOL)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Sunday with the soldiers and border policemen who stopped a Palestinian suicide bomber at Tapuah Junction and days later killed a Palestinian gunman who opened fire on the same checkpoint. The prime minister addressed the servicemen saying, "We will never know how many lives you saved."
The prime minister visited a Border Police headquarters in Jerusalem where he thanked the servicemen for their exceptional work in both incidents.
On May 30, two border policemen manning the Tapuah Junction's checkpoint in the northern West Bank became suspicious when the would-be bomber wore heavy clothing on a hot day and walked in a strange manner. The security personnel ordered him to lie on the ground, and found 12 pipe bombs wrapped around his body and connected by wires.
Days later, a Palestinian terrorist armed with a handgun arrived at the same junction and opened fire at security forces in the area guarding a checkpoint.
Border Police and an IDF soldier who were at the checkpoint stormed the attacker, firing at him as they went. The gunman was killed in the return fire while one border policeman sustained a light injury.
Netanyahu praised the Magav border policemen and IDF Nahal soldiers saying, "Time and again you have proved an uncanny ability to protect the State of Israel."
"Your primary mission is to protect the citizens of Israel and yourselves," the prime minister stated, adding, "We all pray for peace. Israel has been praying in hope of peace for thousands of years, but until peace is achieved we will continue to strengthen you, our security forces so that you continue to protect the State of Israel."
"In the end, this is what guarantees our future, and this is what will bring peace."
Also addressing the servicemen in Jerusalem, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said, "As a former police commander, I can say that our fighters have inherited a legacy of very high professionalism. Our nation is proud to have soldiers such as these that are fighting in the IDF and Border Police, guarding and protecting so many from injury.
Border Police Commander Major General Amos Jacob said, "The Israel Police is a body of moral values and acts out of a sense of mission. In the two recent incidents at the Tapuah Junction our border policemen demonstrated a drive to engage the enemy which showed great courage and initiative."