Rivlin at Gaza border: 'Israel ready to face any threat, above or below ground'
President tours Hamas terror tunnel recently uncovered by the IDF, saying that while 'on both sides of the border there are civilians who want to live in quiet,' Israel 'will not tolerate any disturbance of the quiet, responding swiftly and firmly.'
The president toured one of the Hamas tunnels recently uncovered on the border by the IDF, and was briefed on the military’s day-to-day activities in the area and on work to combat the tunnel threat.
Rivlin was accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, and Gaza Division commander Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fox.
“We will not tolerate any disturbance of the quiet, and in the face of any such disturbance we will respond swiftly and firmly,” Rivlin said during a meeting with dozens of soldiers of the Bedouin Tracker Unit, combat engineers, and from the Givati Brigade.
He went on to say that “On both sides of the border there are civilians who want to live in quiet and we will be sure that the citizens of Israel will continue to live in harmony. We do not seek war.”
However, the president added, “after having sat with our wonderful commanders, I know that if war is forced upon us, we have an army as ready and professional as could be asked. The plan that was presented to me reflects operational strength.”
The president stressed that Israel was “ready to face any hostility toward us.”
“I can say to the citizens of Israel, the IDF is prepared and ready to face any threat above or below the ground in order to prevent any trouble not just around Gaza, but across the country,” Rivlin added.
He also mentioned the bodies of the soldiers being held by Hamas, saying “Two of our sons remained behind after the war that took place two years ago. The State of Israel has a moral responsibility to return Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.”