President Shimon Peres traveled to the southern kibbutz of Yad Mordechai Tuesday for a late Purim celebration with the children whose holiday was ruined by barrages of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
The kids greeted the president while dressed in their Purim costumes, singing songs and waving flags.
- Ministers blast 'soft response' to escalation
- Islamic Jihad: Truce a victory for shahids
- Gantz on escalation: It's not over until it's over
“The let-up (in rocket fire) opens a window for peace,” Peres said while visiting a local school. “We must understand the people on the other side as well. These groups are causing them to live in poverty. There is hope that we will eventually prevail, and by that I mean by means of peace.”
He lauded the kids for their courage in the face of the violent escalation.
“I want you to become the promising future of the State of Israel, and to know that you’re doing what many other kids don’t,” he said. “You’re not afraid of Qassam rockets, and I’m sure you’ll grow up to be wonderful people.”
Addressing a ceasefire that was agreed upon with Gaza terror groups overnight, Peres said: “I think that Egypt played a positive role here. The people who fired rockets have suffered great losses.
“It all began when a terror group was planning to reach Israel, and thank God, they were stopped from doing so.”
Hof Ashkelon Regional Council head Yair Farjon said during the ceremony that the residents of the area “are willing to be the country’s flak jacket” if it means allowing the IDF to continue in its mission.
“Here we are in a fortified school that was funded by the State, thus allowingthe kids to continue with their routine,” he said.
Finally, the school gave Peres a present: A bejeweled mortar shell fragment that landed in the area.
The council’s southern location has made it a major target for rockets fired by Gaza terrorists.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop