Israeli President Reuven Rivlin issued a statement Wednesday welcoming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to indefinitely "freeze" measures banning Palestinian Arab workers from traveling on Israeli buses in Judea and Samaria, just hours after they were approved by the defense minister.
"This morning, as we witnessed the terror attack in Jerusalem we received a painful reminder of the complex security situation Israel's faces and the price we pay for our basic principles," said Rivlin, referring to the running over of two border police officers by an Arab resident of Jerusalem near the Mount of Olives Wednesday morning.
"We must confront terrorism firmly, whilst defending our democratic values as a country and as a people," he insisted.
"I spoke this morning with the Minister of Defense, and I welcomed halting the process that could have led to an unthinkable separation between bus lines for Jews and Arabs."
"As one who loves the Land of Israel, I have nothing but regret for the discordant voices that we heard this morning, supporting the separation between Jews and Arabs on the basis of ideas that have no place being heard or said," Rivlin continued.
"Such statements go against the very foundations of the State of Israel, and impact upon our very ability to establish here a Jewish and democratic state.
"Such statements cause great damage to the State of Israel, and to the settlement movement. It is important we remember that our sovereignty obligates us to prove our ability to live side by side."
Meanwhile, the terrorist who carried out the car terror attack on Wednesday morning has been identified by family members as
41-year-old Imran Abu Dheim from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber.
Abu Dhein was shot and fatally injured after first plowing into the two officers and then attempting to reverse over them and "confirm the kill."
But his family members insist it was an accident.
"We're absolutely stunned by what's happened," a cousin of the driver told AFP, describing him as a very quiet man with five adult children.
"It was an accident and when he tried to reverse, they killed him," he said, despite not having been present himself.