President Reuven Rivlin paid a condolence call to the family of Alexander Levlovitz (64), who was killed on the eve of Rosh Hashanah in an attack by Arab terrorists, after a rock thrown through his car's window made him lose control of the vehicle and crash.
Rivlin embraced the members of the family who were sitting shiva – in mourning – telling Levlovitz's wife and children how much he regretted their loss.
“I am not here as President, but as a resident of Jerusalem,” Rivlin told the mourners. “I have heard a great deal about Alexander, about his life as a Jerusalemite, where he was born and raised, and how much he loved the city.”
Shoshana Ben-Adi, Levlovitz's sister, told Rivlin that she was “jealous” of her brother for having the opportunity to be born in Jerusalem – while she was born in Romania, where she spent her early years. “Many Jews came to Israel to fulfill their vision, but apparently our struggle for our land is not over. This is our tragedy.”
Among the shiva visitors were Arabs from Tsur Baher – the community near Armon Hanatziv, where Levlovitz was killed in a rock attack, and where police said the attackers came from. Levlovitz's children told Rivlin about that visit, stressing that the first medic to treat their father was from there. Nir, one of Levlovitz's son, said that “there are evil people in all societies who are capable of doing terrible things. A rock is a weapon that can kill.” In response, Rivlin said that he agreed, and that “we must act in a strong manner to end this terror.”
Levlovitz himself was not afraid of a rock attack, his daughter Yosefa told Rivlin. “I told my father that I was afraid to work in Beit El, north of Jerusalem, because I thought I would be attacked by rocks. He told me that even if that happened, I should keep driving.” In response, Rivlin said that the issue should not even have to be discussed. “We cannot accept this kind of reality, not in Beit El and not in Jerusalem. Rocks kill and we must act with determination against this terror.”
Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that security forces would respond much more harshly to rock attacks than they have in the past. “Rocks and firebombs are deadly weapons,” the Prime Minister said. “They kill and have killed, and so in recent days we have changed the rules for police officers opening fire in Jerusalem. Over the weekend they already used new means under the new regulations, and hit rock and firebomb terrorists. Today, we will allow a further expansion of the police officers’ abilities to thwart rock and firebomb terror, and we will continue to attack rioters… Whoever attacks us, we will attack you.
“We cannot accept the principle that in Jerusalem our capital, or in any other part of the State of Israel, in the Galilee or in the Negev, people will organize nationalistic terror and will start throwing bombs at trucks on the road, or rocks that kill people,” he added. “We will determine minimum punishment for rock and firebomb terrorists.”