President Reuven Rivlin and opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) sent messages of condolence to the families of the soldiers killed in Sunday’s truck-ramming attack, and vowed that the country would overcome terror.
As he left for a state visit to Georgia, Rivlin said, “I am departing now on a state visit to Georgia, though my heart remains in Israel, and it is a heavy heart indeed.”
“I and Nechama send our support to the families who have lost those most dear to them, and offer strength to the injured being treated in hospital,” he added. “On my return, I will visit the families.”
“We had not thought for a moment that terror would not once again rear its ugly head, nor will we be broken this time either,” Rivlin vowed, “but will continue to stand tall, and fight against terrorism.”
“I send my support to the security services, who are working all the time against this threat, and now especially.”
Herzog said the terror attack in Berlin last month and Nice earlier this year likely inspired Sunday’s terrorist.
“I have no doubt that the truck-ramming attacks that we’ve seen in recent months abroad influenced this vile terrorist’s murder weapon decision,” Herzog said in a Hebrew Facebook video.
The opposition leader praised the soldiers and the civilian guide who shot the terrorist as he carried out the attack, and sent condolences to the families of the victims.
“Jerusalem is branded by terror attacks. [But] Jerusalem will always overcome the terror,” Herzog said.
Four soldiers were killed in the terror attack, identified as Lieutenant Yael Yekutiel (20) of Givatayim, Cadet Shir Hajaj (22) of Maaleh Adumim, Cadet Shira Tzur (20) from Haifa, and Cadet Erez Orbach (20) from Alon Shvut.
Shir 22, Shira 20, Erez 20 and Yael 20. RIP. pic.twitter.com/r2MRPOWKsx
— Sacha Rojtman Dratwa (@SachaDratwa) January 8, 2017
Sixteen others were injured, two of them very seriously, in the attack which occurred as a group of soldiers were getting off a bus at the promenade, a popular tourist spot in southern Jerusalem, when Fadi al-Qunbar drove a large flatbed truck into them.
The driver accelerated as he struck the group. After he hit the soldiers, he put the vehicle into reverse and began to run over them a second time.
The terrorist was shot by soldiers and a civilian tour guide, police said. He died of his wounds.