The Israeli market is not remaining aloof to the difficult situation faced by residents of the southern front, and more and more companies are offering special services and benefits in an attempt to make things just a little easier on them.
The Etgar Human Resources company has opened an emergency hotline for the elderly residents of the south. The hotline will be open from 8 am to 8 pm, and help those in need contact other aid agencies, locate needed caretakers and help find temporary living solutions in central Israel.
The Mega supermarket chain will turn some of its branches in the Gaza vicinity into call centers were customers can make telephone orders and have their groceries delivered straight to their homes free of charge.
Bank Discount and Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank have opened their call centers to all customers in southern Israel, including those that are not already subscribed to the service.
The Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank has also been instructed by its chairman to examine customers' requests regarding loans; mortgage payments etc. more sympathetically, and try to accommodate the residents' needs.
013 Netvision will grant Gaza vicinity residents 130 minutes free on phone calls abroad. This benefit will be offered for phone calls to ground line telephones to different countries including the US, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Belarus, Canada and Germany, and will be valid until January 31, 2009.
012 Smile will offer residents under fire 120 free minutes to any destination in Israel and abroad.
The Bezeq telephone company will provide customers with free door-to-door repair services, and will be backing up their service and technical support centers.
The company will also allow customers to use the "follow me" service to any Bezeq ground line phone in Israel free of charge, to help those who decide to temporarily relocate to a safer area, and will grant business customers free remote access to their office lines.
Xerox and Dafron office supplies companies have decided to give out thousands of notebooks to students residing in the south. Colorful hardcover notebooks will be distributed among students from the first to ninth grade.
The Baby Cakes company will deliver free gift packages to every Gaza vicinity woman that gives birth in the first two weeks of January.