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Qassam Fire

Qassam rocket Photo: Amir Cohen
Qassam rocket Photo: Amir Cohen
 
 

Negev community handed shelters

Nir Am kibbutz receives 11 shelters, leaving 80-family-strong community tough task to decide which families will get them

Shmulik Haddad
Published: 03.15.06, 19:19 / Israel News

As the firing of Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip continues, the IDF set up 11 shelters in Kibbutz Nir Am near Sderot, a regular target of rocket fire from the north of the coastal strip.

 

The IDF registered 12 rockets that were fired at the Negev on Wednesday. Although the Kibbutz rarely suffers direct hits, families

here have been discussing who of the 80 homes that make up their community will get the 11 shelters provided by the IDF.

 

“In internal talks it was decided to set up a committee to discuss the distribution of these shelters. The general tendency is to give them to families with small children, but we found that there are over 20 families with small children and now we have to decide which families will get these shelters. It seems we have to carry out a draw or come up with a more productive solution,” a Nir Am Kibbutznik said.

 

Another Kibbutznik said the idea of the committee is problematic: “It sounds like these committees who deal with prescription drugs and I wouldn’t want to be in a committee like this. Who decided that families with children should have these shelters? Maybe pensioner couples over 70 should have them? If, God forbid, a Qassam hits a house where it was decided not to set up a shelter, how will we cope with this?”

 

'It is not clear who will pay for repairing, setting them up'

 

Meanwhile, members are hoping the Ministry of Defense will funnel enough funds to have shelters all over the Kibbutz and save the community tough decisions.

 

To add to their trouble, the shelters supplied by the IDF are in dire conditions as they were used by Gush Katif settlers for many years before their evacuation last summer.

 

“Security officials brought these shelters here and simply left them near the chicken coop and it is not clear who will pay for repairing and setting them up, which requires skill and money. At the moment no one is interested in speaking to us clearly about the matter,” another resident said.

 

The community lately noted that the cost of fortifying the existing kindergarten exceeds the cost of building a new protected facility. But building a new facility is a long process since it hinges on acquiring permissions from bureaucratic institutions and therefore it was decided to reinforce the current facility.

 

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