Israel will defeat the current wave of Palestinian terrorism that has struck across the country, President Isaac Herzog said in a special Independence Day interview with The Jerusalem Post.
Herzog spoke before the terrorist attack in Ariel on Friday night in which security guard Vyacheslav Golev was shot dead by two Palestinians who were caught the next day by Israeli special forces. Fifteen Israelis have been killed in a string of recent attacks in Beersheba, Hadera, Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv and now Ariel.
“The defense establishment has always known in the end how to identify the sources, to diagnose and to develop the tools needed to stop the terror, and they will do that once again,” Herzog said confidently.
In addition to the tragic loss of human life, Herzog said he was deeply disturbed by the recent attacks and acts of vandalism at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.
“I tell all our friends around the world who love to criticize us and tell us to implement the Oslo [Accords] vision, that part of Oslo was protecting the right for Jews to worship in holy places, and the first thing that happens is the destruction of Joseph’s Tomb,” he said.
“I say to the Palestinians: You cannot hold the stick from both of its ends and expect that Israel will take risks for there to be a diplomatic process,” he added. “It will be very hard to embark on a diplomatic process when there is no understanding that this is not done.”
In the interview, which will appear in full in Wednesday’s Post, Herzog spoke at length about what he has learned about the Israeli people since becoming president last summer as well as about his historic diplomatic visit to Turkey in March.
Herzog said he had entered into the process with Turkey without ignoring the past. The rapprochement was not out of love but due to a window of opportunity created by mutual diplomatic interests, he said.
“We spoke about what happened, and I certainly went into the process without illusions, saying that this is the beginning of a process, and it will be evaluated based upon action,” Herzog said about his conversations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “It is like developing a relationship. I do not know what will happen, but I know that there is a genuine Turkish effort to improve relations with Israel, and I am giving it a chance.”