Peres visits families of killed Israeli soldiers

peres GPOMN1_9346Israeli President Shimon Peres visited bereaved families who lost loved ones during Operation Protective Edge. At the beginning of the visits Peres addressed the current situation and said, “We have only option, to be victorious and avoid a massacre of in the communities around Gaza through the terror tunnels. Through one of the tunnels a group of terrorists came into a kibbutz; their aim was to kill as many of the members as possible. It’s another brutal attack without reason or purpose. It could have been a great tragedy. We aren’t interested in any wars; we don’t consider the people of Gaza our enemies. I saw the pictures from Gaza and they are terrible but the ones that can stop them are the terrorists in Gaza, Hamas are responsible. When a ceasefire was suggested we agreed. It is in their hand to stop the bloodshed. These visits are a sad moment for us and it is an indescribable feeling to have children like this who are ready to sacrifice their lives out of conviction that they were going to prevent the loss of life on both sides.”

Peres first paid his condolences to the family of Staff Sgt. Banya Rovel who told the president, “Banya loved his country and was committed to serving it, he was a hero and a leader, he was named after one of King David’s heroes in the bible. We wanted him to be a hero, but not like this.”

Upon entering the home of Major Greenberg, Peres hugged his widow, Sagit, and  the three children and said, “You father was a hero who risked his life and fought like a lion. You should be proud of him. I can say on behalf of the entire nation that we salute your father and we are grateful to him.” The president then turned to Ori, aged 12, and said, “I heard you speak yesterday at your father’s funeral, I could hear your father through your voice, full of love and dedication – these are the values which strengthen the State of Israel.” At the end of the visit Peres said, “This is visit full of sadness, I am seeing the strength of Israel. I have no doubt that Israel will be victorious. If not for Amotz and his fellow soldiers, if not for the IDF uncovering the tunnels then we would have paid an even higher price.”

The family of Eitan Barak told Peres, “Eitan instantly connected with everyone, he loved everyone, he was modest and sensitive.” Eitan’s father added, “I always wanted to meet you Mr. President but I never thought it would be like this.” Peres said to the family, “I am so proud to sit here, I am so proud of your incredible son, an unstoppable man.”