to expand danger zone surrounding Gaza by 13 kilometers
Alex Fishman YNET Published: 12.28.06, 13:34
The Israeli army is preparing for the possibility that Palestinian armed
groups would improve the range of makeshift rockets fired from the Gaza
Strip, with the Home Front Command drafting plans to expand the protection
zone around the tiny coastal territory to 20 km, three time wider than
The plan includes the fortification of schools and strategic sites in cities
that lie within the new boundaries at the cost of NIS 1.4 billion (USD 331.8
The new initiative is based on estimations that the conflict with the
Palestinians will protract and that rocket fire will be most relied-upon
weapon in the fight against Israel.
About 50,000 residents live within the 7-kilometer wide zone, and expansions
to 20 kilometers will bring that number to 162,000.
Ashkelon, Netivot and Ofakim are among the cities to be included in the
The IDF will complete the protection of all schools within the current zone
by March 2007.
The army said that 81 out of 151 kindergartens in the area have been fully
protected and fortification work on another 58 will be completed by
In 21 out of 46 communities in the area have been fitted with electronic
fences and emergency rooms.
NIS 285 million have been invested in the settlements lying within the range
of Qassam rockets over the last two years.
The government is no responsible for building shelters in public places like
synagogues, malls and cultural centers.
More so, some 4,000 households in the current zone lack shelter rooms. In
Sderot alone, 900 out of 1,250 households lack such facilities of
life-saving qualities in the Qassam-battered town.
Costs of setting up such facilities in all households in the area would cost
NIS 1 billion (USD 237.5 million).
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2006/12/danger-zone-around-gaza-to-triple.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.