Israeli Government to Increase Security for South

As one of the most violent months of the year for Israel comes to a close, the Israeli Cabinet approved on Sunday plans to spend almost $70 million dollars (270 million shekels) on “full protection” for communities near Gaza. The decision comes as the IDF reported as of Sunday that more than 150 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza during October, including a particularly violent surge last week.

More than 600 rockets have been fired at Israel during the course of 2012, according to the IDF website. Sunday’s press statement said the Cabinet-approved plan will go towards improving protection from the rocket attacks for all of the communities in Israel in the 4.5-7 kilometers range from the Gaza Strip.

In a press statement of his comments to the Cabinet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that while “full protection” was provided to the stretch inside of 4.5 kilometers, and while the Iron Dome missile-defense batteries can defend ranges beyond 7 kilometers, “the seam” between those ranges was still vulnerable.

As some examples of protection needed in the Israeli south, in one of the closest communities to Gaza, Sderot, public bomb shelters are placed strategically and schools are given reinforced covering to protect from rockets.

Netanyahu said that while protection had been provided to educational institutions in the intermediate range (4.5-7 kilometers from Gaza), Sunday’s decision will provide protection for “all structures,” including homes.

Netanyahu was quoted by his office in a press statement as saying, “This will provide security for residents of the south. We are doing this because attacks by rockets and missiles at shorter distances are much greater in the area around the Gaza Strip than at other distances. I think that this is what residents of the south have been hoping for, they have been calling for it for a long time.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, October 28, 2012)