Shim'on Peres added "former" to his title of President, Thursday evening. He told a special session of the Knesset, "I came to thank you for the privilege you granted me to serve our country and its people for the past seven years. There is no greater privilege. Thank you."
Reflecting on the final month of his term, Peres said, "Challenges are not invited. They occur spontaneously. That is how the current challenge occurred. I did not imagine that in the last days of my presidency I would be called upon, once more, to comfort bereaved families. Tears in their eyes. And faith in their hearts."
He continued, "Terrorism aims to spill our blood. And leads to blood being spilled among its people. Never has such a minority torn apart the fabric of whole societies. So cruelly sent children to serve as shields for its crimes. Hamas has once again put hundreds of thousands of the citizens of Gaza in harm's way, into a field of fire. The terrorists have transformed Gaza, which is over 3000 years old, into a man-made tragedy. We left Gaza of our own free will and even helped to rebuild it. Unfortunately, it was taken over by fanatical terrorists, who uprooted the structures for rehabilitation and wasted them on a machinery of terror and murder."