Rivlin: We will not tolerate a 'trickle' of rockets

Israeli president lights final Hanukkah candles with soldiers from elite Maglan special forces unit. 'You are our Maccabees.'

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Rivlin lighting Hanukkah candles with soldiers
Rivlin lighting Hanukkah candles with soldiers
Mark Neiman/GPO

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin lit candles with the Maglan special forces unit of the IDF's Commando Brigade (the Oz Brigade) Tuesday evening.

The Commando Brigade is the newest brigade in the IDF brigade, established following Operation Protective Edge in 2014. It is made up entirely of infantry special-operations units and is charged with developing a new combat doctrine.

The President was accompanied by the Commander of the Central Command, Major General Roni Numa, and the Commander of the Maglan Unit, Lieutenant Colonel 'A.' During the visit, the president received a briefing on the Unit's recent capabilities and its unique activity within the Brigade and independently in the various areas of IDF operations.

"You are our Maccabees and I am proud of you," Rivlin told the soldiers. "Today we are marking the two-year anniversary of the brigade's founding. Oz is a young brigade, but those who know the fighting units know that you have an impressive past, an excellent present, and a future in which the sky is the limit."

"The commando brigade is indeed the youngest brigade in the IDF, but its strategic significance is enormous. In the past two years, I have followed with interest and curiosity the establishment and operational readiness of the brigade. I was impressed by the intensive training you are undergoing in cooperation with foreign countries. The ability to take four units with unique characteristics, with the best soldiers and the best weapons, and turn them from discrete units into one powerful, lethal force, is not something which can be taken for granted."

Rivlin referred to the recent uptick in rocket attacks from Gaza and said, "In a few months we will mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel ... Unfortunately, the battle for Israel's security is not yet over, and the challenges facing us in the various arenas are growing. We see this in recent days, in the confrontations the IDF and the security forces have faced following the US president's declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

"We will not tolerate a trickle of rockets and will not be drawn into a low-intensity campaign. In the battle for the lives of our citizens in the south and everywhere else, the only possible outcome is victory. Victory and decisiveness. We will act resolutely against any threat from above the ground and underground, not only for the safety of our residents, but also for the ability to lead normal lives from Kerem Shalom to Neve Ativ."

"From my knowledge of the threats and our plans to deal with them, I know that you have a significant role in the operational activity for the security of the State of Israel," Rivlin told the soldiers, adding, "It is very difficult to be prepared for all possible scenarios, but it is important that we draw lessons from previous conflicts and from the existing arenas around us so that we are better prepared for the next confrontation. I have confidence in your competence and your ability to fulfill the unit's mission when the need arises. We are counting on you."