Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Sderot on Monday and delivered a message of steadfastness, as the latest ceasefire between Israel and Hamas drew to a close.
He met with representatives of the various youth movements that volunteered to work with local children in the shelters during Operation Protective Edge. Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi also attended the meeting.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "The public's resilience, and yours, gives us considerable strength to use considerable strength. We are in the midst of a diplomatic campaign and in a diplomatic campaign, one needs the same thing – one needs much strength, patience, persistence and wisdom as well. And we are in a combined military-diplomatic campaign in which our unity and our steadfastness are what will be victorious. This is what must be understood – much patience is needed here. In the Middle East in which we live it is not enough only to be strong, [and] we are strong, we must also have patience. We do, in abundance, and it is you who prove it.”
“The Eternal People does not fear a long road and the citizens of Israel, and you among them, prove this," he said.
The young volunteers told the Prime Minister about their work to strengthen the residents of Sderot and its environs via educational, social and cultural activities that they held for children as well as other projects such as making packages for soldiers, visiting wounded soldiers at Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, visiting women whose husbands had received emergency call-up orders and visiting bereaved families.
Sderot Mayor Davidi thanked Prime Minister Netanyahu for the government's support and backing for Sderot: "I see the warm embrace and the commander's spirit; all government ministries have lined up alongside Sderot and are coming to see how they can be of assistance. The IDF and you have defended us; you sent the IDF to defend us, and we hope that anyone who so much as thinks of harming our children will be struck very hard."
“The Eternal People does not fear a long road” is a saying coined by a Zionist rabbi, Rabbi Yehoshua Weitzman, which appears in a passage from a book about the teachings of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook.