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'Despite the pain and turmoil, I am full of hope and faith in us' - Israeli President Herzog summarizes six months of war

Israeli President Isaac Herzog (Photo: Screenshot)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog released a statement on Saturday night, April 6, 2024, to mark six months since the Hamas invasion and massacre on Oct. 7.

Below is the full statement.

Tomorrow at 6:29 a.m., we mark six months since the cruel terror attack and the horrific massacre. Half a year since this crime against our sisters and brothers, against our state, this crime against humanity. Six months of a bloody and difficult war.

Today we received the bitter news of the discovery and retrieval from the Gaza Strip of the body of Elad Katzir from Kibbutz Nir Oz. We met his beloved mother, Hanna - whose husband Rami was murdered on that fateful morning - at the hospital after she returned from Hamas captivity. A noble soul. I send my heartfelt condolences to her entire family and especially to his kindhearted and caring sister Carmit Palty Katzir.

Half a year our sisters and brothers have been held by a cruel enemy, our hearts falter, day after day, minute after minute – with them, there. Half a year we, the entire people, accompany, support, embrace the families of the hostages. We never forget them or their loved ones. The terrible suffering of the hostages and their families inconsolably rocks our souls. Michal and I see this almost every day, when we meet families of those held in captivity, and make every effort to assist them, to offer them strength in their all-encompassing struggle, to open doors for them and to introduce them to leaders of the family of nations and international organizations. For half a year we have been moved by the strength and unwavering faith of these heroic families. The most fundamental covenant between a state and its citizens obliges us to do everything – with creativity, perseverance, determination – to act in every way to bring them home.

For half a year the IDF and our security forces, in regular and reserve duty, have been operating in every arena, on every front, with all their might – to bring back the hostages and to fight terrorism. Half a year into the war, and even in these tense days, we know we have an army that will stand against every enemy, near and far. We hope for the success and safe return of the soldiers, embrace the bereaved families, and pray for the recovery of the wounded in body and soul.

For half a year many Israeli citizens in the north and south have not yet returned to their homes. It is imperative not to forget that this is a supreme national priority - to return them to their homes, and to assist them in rehabilitation and in building a life of security, prosperity, and peace.

Half a year, and despite the pain and turmoil, I am full of hope and faith in us. For half a year I have seen Israeli society in all its glory: The mutual responsibility on the front and at home - despite all the disagreements - the commitment to life, the closeness to others, the unique Israeli resilience. For half a year I have seen so many Israelis doing everything for the better of us all. Half a year, and every day, I feel anew immense pride in being part of this people.

Half a year has passed, and it is difficult to know what challenges still lie ahead of us. But despite the long and difficult journey, I look at you, citizens of Israel, and I know - we will rise again, we will heal and build, we will plant, we will reap with joy what we sowed in tears, and we will prove to the whole world: "Am Yisrael Chai!"

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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