President Reuven Rivlin paid a visit to the two Israeli airmen who were shot down on Saturday during their mission over Syria and are now receiving medical care at the Haifa Rambam hospital. During his Sunday visit, the president had a bed-side conversation with the injured pilot and met with his family. He also had a long conversation with the lightly injured navigator who will be released from the hospital Sunday. The president thanked both servicemen for their service and said that “all those who seek to do us harm must know that it is impossible to disrupt the lives of our citizens and we will not stand idly by when someone attempts to do so.”
The president added that “we constantly warn our friends around the world who think the Iranians can be eased into an arrangement; as far as we are concerned, we’re not talking just about a nuclear danger but also about a terrorist-supporting state.” The president was accompanied on his visit by the hospital’s director and deputy director, Prof. Rafi Beyar and Dr. Mickey Halbertal, the doctor who operated on the pilot, Dr. Hany Bahouth, and the head of the ICU, Dr. Yaron Bar-Lavie.Rivlin said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to warn the entire world that Israel will not accept Iran next to its doorstep. The Israeli F-16 jet was allegedly shot down by Syrian surface-to-air defenses when the IAF struck various Iranian targets in Syria in retaliation for an Iranian violation of Israeli air-space by sending a drone into Israel via Syria.The drone was able to operate for a minute and a half within Israel before being destroyed by the IAF.