President of Israel Reuven Rivlin offered condolences to the families of Sergeant Yuval Mor Yosef and the Sergeant Yosef Cohen, who were murdered in the shooting attack near Givat Asaf last Thursday.

During his visit to the home of the Mor Yosef family in Ashkelon, the President met Yuval's family and said, "We came to mourn the guardian of the walls of Israel. A real hero who knew how to preserve his identity and also to protect us with the understanding that only we can preserve our home. Yuval was enthusiastic in his conduct, who bore an authentic Israeli name so connected to our young state and fell while guarding her safety."

Rivlin heard from the family about Yuval's special qualities, his kindness, and his generosity. "I know how hard the pain is. We must preserve our country because no one else can do it for us. I go from house to house and weep for our fallen sons and I meet in every home the deepest devotion," the President said.

The President told the family about his encounters with the Netzach Yehuda haredi batalion soldiers, who only recently on Hanukkah came to light candles at the President's house with him. "I visited Yuval's unit several times, met his friends again and again; impressive and professional soldiers who take an inseparable part in carrying the burden with great devotion and uncompromisingly keep their identity and values​​."

President Revlin at Mor Yosef home; Credit: Chaim Tzach/GPO

The President then visited the home of Yosef Cohen's family in Jerusalem, and shared Yossi's family memories of the War of Independence in Jerusalem: "When we were defending our homes there was no Jerusalemite who was not a partner in the campaign to protect our homes, the haredi and the secular. Today you prove to us how we all know how to take part in defending our people and in the same breath to preserve our identity."

The President spoke with Yossi's stepfather about the heartwarming words he said about the need for Israeli unity even in good times, and not only in moments of crisis. "The things you said, dear father, went into my heart. Shared fate has placed us here and we must stand shoulder to shoulder to defend our country. We have a genuine right to be parents and educators of children like your son."

From the brother of the late Yossi Rivlin heard of his unique character and wonderful ability to converse with every person and create a true relationship of acquaintance and partnership. The President embraced him and asked him to continue his brother's special path "because it is the key to our continued life here". The President parted from the family with deep sorrow and prayer that they would meet again as soon as possible.

Founder and supporter of Netzah Yehuda businessman David Hager flew in to Israel to offer his support and accompany the families. Hager joined President Rivlin at the Cohen home in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Eliahu Merav, stepfather of the late Yosef Cohen, tells the people of Israel "The righteous and pure soul who performed a mission thanked the people of Israel on Friday at the Sabbath meal for having the privilege of defending the people of Israel." (Hebrew) (News 10):