During the conflict between Israel and Gaza-based Palestinian militant factions in May, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and others fired a total 4500 rockets into Israeli territory, forcing thousands in southern and central Israel to run to bomb shelters, often multiple times per day. In Israeli cities and settlements near Gaza, residents had only 15 seconds to take cover, and a lack of proper bomb shelters left many, including elderly and vulnerable civilians, exposed to the ordnance fire.
There is a need for more shelters across the country, but they are extremely costly; each structure costs about NIS 70,000. Many communities in the direct line of fire do not have the resources to afford new ones.
The Brandhouse Factory, an advertising firm led by IDF veteran Adv. Yair Shelev, will hold a fundraiser called "Protecting the Gaza Strip" to raise NIS 2,000,000 for building new bomb shelters in Gaza border communities.
Protecting the Gaza Strip fundraiser; Credit: Alon Grego
"A feeling of personal security and a sense of calm is possible only if there is full protection during a red alert siren," Shelev said. "The residents near the Gaza border are hit with 50% of the rockets coming into Israel. Most of the residents don't have protected areas or bomb shelters to run to within the 15 seconds before the rocket hits."
Shelev emphasized the urgency of constructing the shelters as soon as possible, noting that the next threat from Hamas could leave countless Israelis in the Gaza envelope in a perilous situation.
"The hope is to bring together different people of Israeli society, to help the weak and vulnerable, avoid further loss of life and limb and bring them security NOW - before the next round of fighting with Hamas...", Shelev added.
Donations to "Protecting the Gaza Strip" can be sent to: The Advancement of the Eshkol Region #580469377 Bank Hapoalim - 12, Account number 601-233, Branch 633