Newly inducted President Reuven Rivlin spent the first day of the school year in the Negev, visiting classrooms and planting trees. Rivlin visited the Yitzchak Sadeh school in Dimona, sitting in on classes and talking to students.
The president met with first-graders who entered the school's gates as students for the first time, while accompanied by Dimona Mayor Benny Bitton. Rivlin wished the children success on their new “careers.”
Rivlin later visited a school at Kibbutz Sa'ad, in the Gaza Belt region, where he met children at the large religious regional school, and planted a tree at the entrance to the school – right near where a Hamas rocket fell during Operation Protective Edge.
The building was badly damaged in the rocket attack; Rivlin expressed hope that the tree would take root and grow during quiet times.
Speaking to students at a general assembly, Rivlin said “the recent summer vacation was an unusual one, even for you, who have been suffering for years from rocket attacks. We were very concerned that the school year would not open on time this year."
“There are some who have been looking for the 'victory image' to designate the end of (Operation) Protective Edge,” Rivlin continued. “But when I see young students with schoolbags on their backs here in the Gaza Belt area, and when I plant a tree in the schoolyard where a rocket fell, and when I see all of you engaged in building and creating, learning Torah and gaining wisdom, I see the image of victory they have been looking for.”