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In light of the recent rise in violence, President Rivlin held an emergency briefing for ambassadors of European Union member states in Israel

President Rivlin:


“We will not allow violence and disruption. Palestinian extremists have turned the Temple Mount into a cache for weapons, and a base for attacks. We cannot allow this holy site to be used for violent disorder that threatens both Jewish and Muslim worshippers.”

“The men and women of the Israel Police have acted heroically to restore order and to allow all Jerusalemites to live and pray safely.”

“Yesterday, our capital city, Jerusalem, was attacked. Since then, hundreds of rockets have been fired on our cities and thousands of children have been taken by their parents to the bomb shelters. No country in the world would accept a situation like this. We will never accept this reality. We will protect our citizens by all means necessary.”

President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Tuesday 11 May / 29 Iyyar, held an emergency briefing in light of the recent rise in violence for ambassadors of European Union member states in Israel. The briefing was attended by the EU states’ ambassadors, headed by European Union Ambassador to Israel Emmanuele Giaufret and ambassadors of Germany, Italy, Spain, France and others.

“I wanted to talk with you today about the winds of peace blowing in our region, but you are aware of the provocations, the terrorist attacks and Hamas violence that has turned Ramadan into a nightmare,” said the president to the ambassadors. “Last week, I hosted an Iftar meal at Beit HaNasi for Muslim ambassadors and leaders. They all know that Jerusalem is an open city where people of all religions pray freely. During the month of Ramadan, tens of thousands of Muslims have prayed safely on the Temple Mount, as they do throughout the year. We will always protect and preserve freedom of religion and of worship, but we will not allow violence and disruption that threaten the safety of all Jerusalemites – Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. In recent weeks, we have seen a rise in Palestinian violence against Jews across Jerusalem. Many of these attacks were shared on social media. They have led to outbreaks of violence where Palestinian extremists have turned the Temple Mount into a cache for weapons, and a base for attacks. We cannot allow this holy site to be used for violent disorder that threatens both Jewish and Muslim worshippers. The men and women of the Israel Police have acted heroically to restore order and to allow all Jerusalemites to live and pray safely. As you all know, without any precursor violence, yesterday afternoon our capital city, Jerusalem, was attacked in a barrage of Hamas rockets. Since then, hundreds of rockets have been fired on our cities and thousands of children have been taken by their parents to the bomb shelters. No country in the world would accept a situation like this. We will never accept this reality. We will protect our citizens by all means necessary.”

“As I have said many times before, Arabs and Jews are not doomed to live together. We are destined to do so. The path to peace depends on regional partnerships, developing initiatives that bring benefits to all sides, and building mutual trust and understanding. These are the foundations of peace,” said the president. “In the Middle East as in Europe, there are no short cuts. Peace cannot be based on a piece of paper. Peace cannot develop by attacking Israel in UN bodies or by harming Israel’s right to defend itself through the International Criminal Court. The European Union can play a vital role in promoting Israeli-Palestinian cooperation to the benefit of all sides.”

“The Israeli-Palestinian arena is very important, but there is no reason for EU-Israel relations to be held hostage to the relations between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza. Conditions of this sort damage our future relations, contribute nothing to the Palestinians and do not advance our shared goal of peace. I know that many of you have visited our borders. You have seen for yourselves the threats we face from Iran and its proxies, including Hezbollah. I know that your governments are committed to Israel’s security, and that is why it is crucial to act decisively against terrorism, against Iran’s threats and nuclear ambitions and to put Hezbollah and its various branches beyond the law,” he said in conclusion.

Photo credit: Mark Neyman (GPO)