Vilna'i tours Sderot, orders check of shelters in South

Defense officials say rocket attacks on the South could escalate following the IDF's invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Vilnai (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i toured Sderot on Saturday and ordered the IDF Home Front Command to visit every bomb shelter in the South to ensure that civilians are not left without food and medical treatment if needed. On Friday, Vilna'i asked the civil service commissioner to order municipal and local council workers to provide services for communities within range of the rockets. Defense officials said that it was possible that the rocket attacks on the South would escalate following the IDF's invasion of the Gaza Strip. On Saturday rockets scored direct hits on homes in Netivot and Ashkelon, wounding several residents and causing extensive damage. Rockets also hit Yavne, Kiryat Malachi and Sderot. "We need to make sure that people are not left in bomb shelters without being provided for," a defense official said. The Defense Ministry said it would finish deploying portable protective rooms in Netivot on Sunday. The Home Front Command has also deployed large numbers of soldiers in towns within the rocket range to help civilians hit by the rockets. Hesder yeshiva students who have completed their military service were called back into service to participate in the operations. "The Home Front Command soldiers are supposed to arrive quickly at areas hit by the rockets to help residents," the official said. Meanwhile Saturday, Friends of the IDF announced that it was allocating NIS 700,000 to establish "rest centers" for soldiers participating in the operations in Gaza. Each center will have a Ping-Pong table, a television, food and hot drinks.