Sderot rooms to be fortified monthly

Comptroller warns that recommendations on Kassam protection can't be ignored.

sderot mayor moyal298 88 (photo credit: Channel 1 [file])
sderot mayor moyal298 88
(photo credit: Channel 1 [file])
Fortified rooms will be built in Sderot at a rate of 200 per month until the entire city is protected [from Kassam rocket attacks], Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Bukhris announced Sunday. According to Army Radio, the government intends to invest NIS 22 million a month in securing Sderot, with private homes taking priority. Earlier Sunday, Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal said that "if the government wants to strengthen the city, the way to do so is to fill it and not empty it." Speaking before representatives of the Knesset's State Control Committee in his office in Sderot, the mayor said that "the fall of Sderot would be the fall of the entire Zionist enterprise." Nearly 1,000 city residents returned home from government-sponsored vacation sites on Sunday, where they were sent for a respite from the ongoing Kassam attacks. Meanwhile, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, who was visiting the Kassam-battered southern town as a follow-up to his 2006 report on the city's rocket-protection system, said that the oversights he had noted in the report could "not be swept under the rug." Failure to implement the report's recommendations, Lindenstrauss said, could harm the security of the residents of Sderot, as well as the values of democracy. "I promise you truly, the criticism will continue to be harsh," Lindenstrauss said. At the opening of the meeting, Moyal warned those assembled - including State Control Committee Chairman Zevulun Orlev, OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon and other Home Front Command officials - to head for the shelter in the building if the "Red Alert" siren sounded during the meeting. He then called for a moment of silence in memory of Oshri Oz, the Hod Hasharon resident who was killed in one of the morning's Kassam attacks on Sderot.