outside bomb shelter 88 248.
(photo credit: Yoav Fisher)
Amid the continuous rocket attacks that have plagued Ashkelon in recent days, a group of vandals are being sought by police for damaging and rendering unusable four bomb shelters in the city.
The first report reached the Ashkelon Municipality last week, when officials were called to a shelter that had been burned out. The shelter belonged to the Association of Working and Learning Youth movement (the sister movement of Habonim Dror), which had opened it to the general public.
"It's unusable right now, we are working on a renovation," said Yoshi Nahum of the Ashkelon Municipality.
Another shelter had its electrical wiring ripped out, and residents reported hearing intoxicated youths in the area during the night of the attack.
"How can a person raised in a normal home damage a bomb shelter during wartime?" asked Nahum. "These places save lives. This must be dealt with."
Ashkelon police chief Cmdr. Haim Blumenfeld said the investigation was in its early stages, and added that no suspects had yet been identified.
"We ask for the cooperation of all residents in assisting us. We have many forces on the ground, but we can't be everywhere at once," he said.
In a letter to the Ashkelon Municipality, Barak Sela, a local coordinator for the Association of Working and Learning Youth, said he had been "horrified to discover that the whole center was burned out" and there was "no way to enter the building because of the choking smoke."
"I was shocked to see that the center had been set alight deliberately during the late night hours by unknown, unrestrained and irresponsible individuals," he said.