As a follow-up to his Tisha Be’av broadcast in which he said he wanted to wish strength and convey encouragement to the residents of the Gaza Strip periphery communities who are constantly under heavy fire, and whose lives are disrupted by the frequency with which they have to spend time in bomb shelters, President Isaac Herzog on Monday morning went to Sderot for a meeting with heads of their local municipalities and regional councils.
He was accompanied by President’s Residence Director-General Eyal Shviki, newly appointed Military Secretary Brig.-Gen. Naama Rozen Grinberg and Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, who chairs the Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terrorism.
The group held discussions with Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni, Sdot Negev Regional Council head Tamir Idan, Hof Ashkelon Regional Council head Itamar Revivo and Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council head Ofir Libstein.
Herzog told them he had come on behalf of the people of Israel to express appreciation through them to all Israeli citizens in the Gaza periphery and in the town of Sderot, in particular.
“Without this region, there would be no State of Israel,” he said. “You are the gateway to the State of Israel, and you are the wall protecting the State of Israel.”
The events of recent days teach a great deal, but first and foremost about resilience, “about incredible resilience,” he added.
Herzog praised the residents of Sderot and the South in general for the amazing way in which they functioned and credited local authority heads with inspiring such behavior by exercising courage and great emotional resilience.
“I heard you and I saw you and listened to your reassuring messages, which projected confidence and calm,” he said. He also praised Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi and all of Israel’s security and defense institutions as well as rescue services in his kudos.
Herzog noted the significance of psychological therapy and the treating of PTSD within the framework of lessons learned to be better prepared for any future eventualities, adding that he hoped and prayed that Israel’s citizens will know calm and security.