President Reuven Rivlin.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Notwithstanding the tightening of security at the Damascus Gate, one of the entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City, following the fatal stabbing on Friday night of border policewoman St.-Sgt.- Maj. Hadas Malka, security was tightened even more on Monday morning when President Reuven Rivlin visited the site of the terrorist attack in order to express sympathy with her comrades and strengthen their morale.
Rivlin thanked the Border Police for safeguarding the residents of Jerusalem, and for quickly coming to their rescue when a terrorist incident occurs.
The president toured the area and heard from officers about how challenging it was for them and the men and women under their command to perform their duties in the face of so many difficulties.
On the one hand, they want life in the area to be as normal as possible, and on the other, they must be alert to anything that could lead to tension and violence.
Rivlin told them that the walls of the Old City and its gates have been guarded for centuries and in every generation to ensure that the public can move freely and fearlessly throughout the capital.
He commended the Border Police for their steadfastness in the face of terrorist threats in the same spirit of their predecessors.
Rivlin said that 50 years had passed since he had been among the liberators of Jerusalem, after which the following generations had defended the city. “Your children will do the same,” he told them.
Terrorists want to engage in activities that disrupt life in Jerusalem, he said, but the Border Police take extraordinary risks to ensure that this will not happen and life will go on as usual despite the sensitive situation which attracts so much attention.
Before voicing his appreciation yet again, Rivlin urged the young men and women to remain constantly alert.
Normalcy, he warned them, can sometimes be boring and affect concentration.
Rivlin came not only to express appreciation in words. As he was about to leave the area, members of his staff took boxes filled with cakes and chocolates out of their cars, which had been placed there at the initiative of Nechama Rivlin, the president’s wife. Rivlin told the Border Police to help themselves as quickly as possible before the sweets disappeared.