Photo Credit: Mark Neiman / GPO
President Reuven Rivlin at the site of a deadly pre-Shabbat terror attack near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.

President Reuven Rivlin made a point of visiting Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday morning to meet with the soldiers and commanders on the ground who are tasked with protecting the area where a young Jewish woman met her death last Friday doing exactly the same job.

The President said he wished to offer his support and encouragement, and thanked them for their efforts to ensure the security of the citizens of Jerusalem, night and day, despite their great pain following the loss of Hadas Malka, z’l, the 23-year-old Border Guard Policewoman who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian Authority terrorist at the start of the Sabbath last week.

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The President toured the area and heard from the commanders about the challenges of preserving daily life alongside the need for all to maintain the security of the citizens and the forces stationed there.

In his conversation with the soldiers, the President said, first of all, “Thank you. We have been guarding the walls of Jerusalem for thousands of years, in every generation. “We are here out of the need to allow all citizens to walk freely in Jerusalem without fear. Even if there are threats, you stand and face them as your predecessors did.

“It has been 50 years since I was one of the fighters who liberated Jerusalem,” he said.

“The generations continue to defend Jerusalem and so will your children. I came today to thank you once more. “Your protection also allows for free movement in Jerusalem for all citizens.

“Terrorism wants us to take actions that disrupt life in Jerusalem, and when you take risks in order to enable Jerusalem to be open to all its visitors and citizens, that is the most important thing.

“Jerusalem is a microcosm, it is a micro model of our ability to maintain a routine, the daily life in Jerusalem which is so considerate.”

He reiterated, “I would like to say thank you. You are always in our hearts – well done for all your work, well done to the guardians of the walls of Jerusalem, throughout the generations.”

Before departing, the President warned the security servicemen and women to be alert even during the mundane day-to-day routine, and emphasized: “In daily routine you sometimes lose some concentration. Routine can be deceptive for us all.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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