Rivlin, promising peace, joins protest from Gaza border communities

“I promise you: We will not, and we must not, let the air raid siren become routine."

President Rivlin met with student protesters on their way to the Knesset (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
President Rivlin met with student protesters on their way to the Knesset
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Meeting students en route from the Gaza border to the Knesset, President Reuven Rivlin vowed to the protesters that the government would support communities that have suffered under Hamas rocket attacks.
“I promise you: We will not, must not, let the red alert air-raid sirens become a routine,” Rivlin said to the students on Thursday. “Red will stay the color of the wildflowers.”
The students, part of the “Black South” campaign, began their five-day march on Tuesday to protest against six months of incendiary balloon terror.
As he walked with students, Rivlin said, “I came to march with you on behalf of every citizen of Israel who is following you and is marching with you in spirit.”
Since US President Donald Trump moved the American Embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in May, Hamas has been using incendiary balloons and kites to damage Israeli areas near the Gaza border.
“Eighty-one towns in the Gaza border communities no longer look the same,” the “Black South” students said in a video released before the protest began. “Thirty-two thousand dunams were scorched because of incendiary kite terror.”
The protest comes on the same day that Israeli media reported that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi convinced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to a cease-fire understanding between Israel and Hamas.
However, a senior PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that he was unaware of any change in Abbas’s position toward the proposed truce between Israel and Hamas.
Rivlin offered encouragement to the students and promised to heed their call.
“Happy are the people whose youth march at its head, and happy are the parents who raised their children with such a feeling of national pride, of love of the country, of such a meaningful connection to our wonderful country,” Rivlin said. “You are not the young people of the area around Gaza, you are the young people who embrace the whole country. We hear your call and it breaks our hearts.”

Hagay Hacohen and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.