President Reuven Rivlin this evening (Tuesday, 23 December 2014), lit the candles for the final night of Chanukah together with dozens of soldiers, including members of the paratroopers, and armored corps engineers of the 7th Brigade of the Judea Regional Brigade south of Hebron.
The President reflected on the events of the last year and said, “The Judean region has dealt with a wide range, and all types of terrorism and hostile activity. Some of the events occurred specifically in the area of your responsibility, and some, like the kidnapping of the three boys, took place in the areas of other brigades, whilst the focus of the operation was here, in the area of the Judean Regional Brigade. Soldiers, you are operating in a varied and complex location, against malevolent terrorists, through long and difficult nights, thwarting immediate threats. Thanks to you, because of your strength and bravery, because of your dedication, the people of Israel sleep safe and sound in their homes. Your heroism and dedication will defeat terror. Your brave spirit, dear soldiers and officers, together with strength of character, unwavering faith, and the justness of your path, will shape our future. We have confidence and faith in you, and faith that you will complete your mission in the best possible manner.”
The President continued, “This evening, we light candles for all the IDF basis, from the Hermon in the north to the Gaza divisions, and the southern border. I want to take this opportunity, to wish you, all the soldiers of the IDF, all the security forces, a happy Chanukah, a Chanukah of light, a Chanukah during which we will work with determination, to face the darkness, and thanks to you, kindle the light.”
Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said, “We have told you Mr. President, of the complex challenges faced in the whole of Judea and Samaria, and specifically, of the even more complex situation in Judea. Your visit here is a visit to the whole army, wherever they may be, in air, sea or land, working Israel’s security.”
The Chief-of-Staff added, “There are those who see the rebirth of Israel as a miracle, and those who prefer to see it as an act of man. I believe that miracles are the result of the work of each of you here today.” He concluded by saying, “I know that the military activities are difficult and even Sisyphean, and do not always occur under the best of conditions, but nevertheless, it is a great privilege for us to carry the torch of security.”
Following the candle lighting with the soldiers, the President toured the base and stopped to speak with several of the soldiers on duty, and even joined them as they lit candles for the last night of the festival. He told them, “I know that at times, military service is not simple. It is very cold here, and you need to be at your most vigilant. Thank you, on behalf of myself and all the citizens of Israel. Because of you, we can sleep peacefully.”