“We are not addicted to the quiet in the north. We know that the threat remains severe. We are aware of Hezbollah’s attempts to continue gaining strength with Iranian backing and support, and to acquire weapons whose only aim is to hit Israel’s civilian home front.”
“The State of Israel will not allow Iranian build-up in Lebanon to continue. We will not allow Iran to send its cancerous cells here. We will respond with determination to Iranian aggression, seeing our duty to protect Israel’s citizens as a fundamental and basic responsibility.”
President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Thursday 24 June / 14 Tammuz, delivered remarks at the memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Second Lebanon war, marking 15 years since the conflict. Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and representatives of the bereaved families participated in the ceremony.
“The Second Lebanon War was a war in which IDF soldiers demonstrated courage, determination and focus on their mission. The sacrifice and loss of life of soldiers and officers covered up, in many cases, failures and deficiencies that were investigated later in preparedness, readiness, stockpiles and equipment. Israeli civil society, to, was shown in all its strength. Standing firm with a deep sense of solidarity for each other. The battle that brought quiet to the north lasted for 34 days. It is a quiet that has lasted for 15 years. An essential quiet, of infinite value. Quiet that you bereaved families paid the very heavy price for,” said the president at the beginning of his remarks.
“We appreciate and value the quiet, but we are not complacent. We know that the threat is still grave. And recent weeks have proved again to us how ‘quiet’ is a relative and fragile term. We are aware of Hezbollah’s attempts to continue gaining strength with Iranian backing and support, and to acquire weapons whose only aim is to hit Israel’s civilian home front. As I repeatedly say, up until today itself, to my interlocutors – presidents, prime ministers and heads of states around the world - the State of Israel will not allow Iranian build-up in Lebanon to continue. We will not allow Iran to send its cancerous cells here. We will respond with determination to Iranian aggression, seeing our duty to protect Israel’s citizens as a fundamental and basic responsibility. We have no war or quarrel of any kind with the Lebanese people. We know that many of their citizens are suffering greatly from a humanitarian, medical, economic and social crisis because they are hostages to Hezbollah – a murderous, cruel, extremist organization. We want and know how to be good neighbors. But we will not allow anyone to dodge responsibility. We demand and will continue to exact a high price from the Lebanese state for every attack that comes from its territory. That has been the case and that will be the case.”
The president sent his wishes for the recovery of those injured in the war who struggle every day and spoke to the bereaved families, saying that this is the last memorial ceremony that he will attend as president. “I know there is no succor for your pain. You have no consolation. This is the last time I will stand here as president in the National Hall of Remembrance, a place where the names of every soldier who gave their lives in Israel’s wars, and in the war for our existence which is yet to end, is engraved in the walls. I had the honor to inaugurate this hall, together with you bereaved families. In just a few weeks, my term of office will end. But my commitment to you, members of the family of loss, will never end. For as long as I live, I will hold you in my heart and will work on your behalf. You are in my heart. May the memories of the men and women who fell in the Second Lebanon War be engraved in our hearts for eternity.”