Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Tuesday, where he addressed the wave of terror attacks engulfing Israel since the beginning of Ramadan earlier this month.
"This month of Ramadan is turning into a month of terror before our very eyes," he said. "Terror is terror, wherever it strikes in the land of Israel, and across the world.”
Rivlin, like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, also criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA) for not condemning the attacks – many of which involve terrorists who entered Israel from PA-ruled territories.
“Especially during Ramadan, the Palestinian leadership must condemn these attacks and act against them," he stated. "Their silence is louder than ever."
"These terrorist attacks will not succeed," he affirmed. "The Jewish people will continue to live in the land of Israel without being forced to fear for their lives."
"I pray for the recovery of the injured and trust the security services will bring those responsible to justice.”
Turning to the Italian Foreign Minister, President Rivlin said, “I am delighted to welcome you to Jerusalem. Italy is an important and very good friend of Israel.”
The President went on to stress that the only way to find a solution to the ongoing conflict with the Palestinian Arabs was through returning to direct negotiations, and urged the Italian Foreign Minister to ensure Italy acted to bring the sides to the negotiating table. He said, “Only by talking will be able to make living together possible.”
The Italian Foreign Minister thanked the President for his warm welcome and joined in his condemnation of the recent terrorist attacks.
He said, “We strongly condemn the terrorist acts, and express solidarity with the families and people of Israel. We always condemn such acts, but especially now in the month of Ramadan which should be a time of respect and understanding.”
The Foreign Minister added, “We have strong relations with Israel, and we look forward to strengthening them further with your visit to Italy later in the year.”
On the issue of the need for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, the Foreign Minister said, “I share your opinion that we need, as soon as possible, in the next weeks or months, to try and restart the negotiations, because in the very dangerous situation in the region, there is the opportunity to restart the talks without preconditions. European and other countries can have an important role, not in replacing the negotiations but in supporting the process and the negotiations.”