Herzog meeting the local leaders
Herzog meeting the local leadersAmos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday morning visited the town of Sderot and met local authority heads from the Gaza border area.

Among the leaders he met are Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, Eshkol Regional Council Head Gadi Yarkoni, Sdot Negev Regional Council Head Tamir Idan, Hof Ashkelon Regional Council Head Itamar Revivo, and Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council Head Ofir Libstein.

President Herzog began his remarks, saying: "I come here on behalf of the people of Israel to say thank you to you, and through you to all our citizens in the Gaza border area and in the town of Sderot. Without this region, there would be no State of Israel. You are the gateway to the State of Israel and you are the wall protecting the State of Israel."

"The event that we went through in the past few days teaches us a great deal, but first of all about resilience, about incredible resilience. Your residents functioned amazingly, and a lot of that is thanks to you, the local authority heads exercising incredible emotional resilience. I heard you and I saw you and your reassuring messages, which projected confidence and calm.

"I want to thank the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, the IDF Chief of Staff, and all of the State of Israel's security and defense institutions and the IDF, the Shin Bet (Shabak), the search and rescue services, the Home Front Command, and everyone who engaged in defense together with you."

Herzog continued, "Of course, now the work moves to the resilience centers, to psychological therapy, to treating PTSD and learning lessons in order to be ready for any development."

Concluding his remarks, Herzog added, "I hope and pray that we will now see calm and that Israel's citizens will know calm and security. We must always be ready for any threat that might arise. To conclude, I repeat that the citizens of Israel are grateful to you today. Thank you for your courage, your leadership, and your responsibility."

The meeting was also attended by the Director General of the Office of the President, Eyal Shviki; the President's Military Secretary, Brig. Gen. Naama Rozen Grimberg; and the Jewish Agency for Israel's Fund for Victims of Terror Chairwoman, Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin.