'Sometimes you have just three seconds to make a decision'

Pres. Rivlin visits Iron Dome battery, praises soldiers for working overtime to protect Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Reuven Rivlin visits Iron Dome battery
Reuven Rivlin visits Iron Dome battery
Mark Neiman (GPO)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday visited an Iron Dome battery in southern Israel.

Upon arriving at the site, Rivlin received a briefing on the Iron Dome and its activities during peacetime and during times of emergency, with an emphasis on the past week, when the Iron Dome was used around the clock.

Rivlin also met with IAF commander Brigadier General Zvika Haimovich, Battalion 947 Commander Eliran Greenberg, and the commander of the Iron Dome battery he visited, Bar Haimovich.

After speaking with the commanders, Rivlin met with the soldiers.

"We owe you a huge thank-you, even if today, your abilities have become somewhat taken for granted," he said. "You are always here, on guard, and you have no room for error at all. A mistake on your part is a mistake which at the end of the day harms all of us, and your work is extremely important."

"I heard from your commanders how you insisted on extending your shifts, and would not leave our skies for a second, even when you were already permitted to leave your stations and rest. It filled me with pride. Sometimes you have just three seconds to make a decision. When you decide, you know that if you decide wrong, the results may be the worst possible.

"Often in Israel's history, and in the 79 years I've lived, we would argue: Should we wear a kippah (skullcap) or not? Until today, we thought it was either this or that. But this week, the State of Israel and all its citizens - Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Circassians. all of us wore a kippah - your Iron Dome. (In Hebrew, the Iron Dome is called "kippat habarzel," literally, the kippah of iron. - ed.) For this, we thank you very much, from the depths of our hearts."

Zvika Haimovich thanked Rivlin for his visit and support, saying, "We thank you for taking the time to meet us and support our soldiers, who do such holy work. Today it is our turn, and our generation, and you can count on this group. I am sure that we will continue to be a significant force protecting the nation in Israel."

Prior to leaving, Rivlin discovered that Zvika Haimovich is the father of Bar Haimovich, who commands the Iron Dome battery he visited.

"It's the father, the son, and the Iron Dome," Rivlin joked as he posed emotionally for a picture with the two Haimovichs.

Rivlin with Zvika and Bar Haimovich
Mark Neiman, GPO