Bennett to Tel Aviv parents: Send your kids to school

With terrorist Nashat Milhem still at large, parents are still wary to send their kids to school.

An Israeli flag hangs on a balcony rail as a woman looks at the scene of a shooting incident in Tel Aviv (photo credit: REUTERS)
An Israeli flag hangs on a balcony rail as a woman looks at the scene of a shooting incident in Tel Aviv
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Parents in Northern Tel Aviv awoke on Monday to an all too familiar dilemma of whether or not to send their children to school, while the gunman of Friday’s fatal shooting was still on the loose.
The suspected perpetrator of the attack that killed two people, Nashat Milhem, was believed to be hiding out in a neighborhood in the north of the city.
Despite this, an overwhelming majority of parents sent their children to school on Monday, with reports showing some 80 percent of students attended classes in North Tel Aviv.
This represented a drastic increase from the previous day where the Tel Aviv municipality reported that only half of students had ventured out to school.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett urged parents to send their children to school and continue with their daily routine.
In an interview with Army Radio, Bennett said more children are killed annually in traffic accidents than in terrorist related incidents.
“The highest level of terrorism is in Hebron and Gush Etzion, but also there they continue to live their lives,” Bennett said.
Schools in Tel Aviv kept up a heightened security alert on Monday as police forces continued to patrol the streets of northern neighborhoods, especially near educational institutions.
Varda Kagan, principal of Alliance High School in Ramat Aviv, told Army Radio on Monday that “there is still great worry and we see a lot of doubts.”
On Sunday only some 200 students out of 1,600 attended classes and on Monday many parents still kept their children home from high school.
“Today we will email parents that we expect everyone to come back to a good routine, and I hope that starting tomorrow everyone will go back to school,” Kagan said.
Some lawmakers thought security at Tel Aviv area schools was inadequate.
MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) submitted an urgent query to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan regarding reports that some 25 percent of educational institutions did not have proper security enforcement.
“You are sending our children into the battlefield,” she said.
“You urge us to send out children to educational institutions with the knowledge that an armed terrorist could be hiding in the area, but you do not properly ensure their security,” Rozin added.
“Despite the attempt to create a sense of ‘business as usual’, in schools with fewer than 100 students there is no security guard. It was also reported that the patrols operated by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality are insufficient to perform the patrols required because each person on patrol is responsible for too many educational institutions,” she said.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced on Monday the state would cover security costs for schools until as late as 4 P.M. until further notice.
Municipalities with a lower socioeconomic ranking will receive full assistance, while wealthier municipalities will receive 70 %.