On Sunday, 28th December, 2008, as part of the military operation Oferet Yetzuka - Cast Lead, the cabinet approved at noon the beginning of Melah, an emergency economic program, in the Gaza periphery communities, along with the mobilization of thousands of reservists, who are being called up primarily in anticipation of a potential ground attack.
We spoke with Ami Uliel, director of KKL-JNF's Southern Region, about emergency measures at all sites within missile range.
"We are following the instructions of the Home Front Command and accordingly, we have distanced workers from those regions that are close to the Gaza border and are within the range of the Kassam missiles. As a result, work on three projects has stopped:
The ancient synagogue at Nirim, which is being rebuilt through contributions of friends of KKL-JNF Canada
West Shikma road and Nahal Shikma, next to Netiv Ha'asara on the Gaza border
Camel Hill near Sderot, where work has begun on building a recognition center for friends of KKL-JNF Italy.
Foresters from the Eshkol and Shikma regions and from the forests that border on the Gaza Strip have been transferred to other work sites that are out of range of the missiles."
A discussion on emergency measures in the south was held today with Dr. Tzvika Avni, director of Afforestation. The Southern Region has been placed on forest fire alert and is prepared to extinguish forest fires that might break out as a result of missiles falling in open spaces. The Southern Region is also in constant contact with IDF forces in the region in order to jointly prevent damage to forests and sites owing to the military deployment.
Uliel noted that "we need to set up three protected security rooms in the southern region next to forest work centers so that as soon as there is a missile attack warning, we can protect our workers.
"In spite of the situation, all our employees, who live in towns and villages within range of the Kassam missiles, come to work and do their jobs beyond the call of duty. We are here and we will stay here on behalf of the people and the environment."
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