'You work day and night to protect us'

President Reuven Rivlin visits base of elite police counter-terrorism unit, praises their vigilance and dedication.

Ido ben Porat ,

Rivlin with Yamam
Rivlin with Yamam
Mark Naiman

President Reuven Rivlin visited today (Thursday) at the base of the "Yamam" [lit. "Special Police Unit"]. Yamam is the elite counter-terrorism and SWAT unit of the police.

The President was accompanied by Israeli Police Chief Ronnie Alshikh, Border Police Chief Yaakov Shabtai, and Commander of the Yamam, "N."

At the beginning of the visit, Alshikh briefed the President about the current security situation, after which he described to the President the latest operations in which Yamam had participated, as well as challenges facing the unit in the coming period.

After the briefings, the President toured the memorial site for fallen Yamam fighters and heard stories from the Commander of the unit about Yamam fighters who had been killed in the line of duty. In response, Rivlin said: "The Biblical Writings say, 'on your walls, City of David, I have appointed guards.' You, the guards of the walls of Israel day and night, understand well the price in blood paid in defense of our security, and here, the best sons of this most excellent unit look down upon us from the pictures."

Afterward, the President watched a training exercise in which the elite unit had a chance to demonstrate their mettle. Scenarios that were practiced included commandeering a bus taken hostage by terrorists and taking control of a building and extricating hostages held inside. In addition, the President was shown advanced weaponry which the unit uses.

At the conclusion of his visit, Rivlin visited with fighters in the unit, and said: "In my many roles, I have had opportunity to visit excellent units where the best serve, and among every 'best' there are the 'better among the best.' In order to get accepted to your unit, you have to be one in a thousand, one in ten thousand. I saw some of your abilities today in various exercises, and I'm aware of the activity you do day and night; for this, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

"Not everyone is Israel knows what you do; many times when you walk in the street, no one turns to you with praise and admiration. Today, I want to tell you thanks for all you have done and will do," Rivlin said.

Commander of Yamam "N" said during the visit that "the fighters in the unit have the great privilege of serving the State of Israel and its citizens. Honorable President, I can promise you and all citizens of Israel that we, the fighters standing here before you, will do whatever it takes to ensure the safety and security of the State of Israel."