“Sderot is in a state of emergency, although it has not been declared as such," Knesset Member Ami Ayalon said Monday following a meeting of the parliamentary subcommittee investigating the home front's readiness for emergency situations.
According to Ayalon, the local leadership and the city’s residents are "bearing the brunt (of rocket attacks) without sufficient help.”
"The concept of stopping the incessant Qassam attacks on Israeli communities through unilateral political means has failed,” he said following the meeting, which was held in Sderot," he said.
“For the past seven years there was no discussion on the future of Sderot and other Israeli communities near Gaza,” Ayalon added. “Israel’s governments, and the current one in particular, did not internalize the scope of the crisis.”
Ayalon, a candidate for Labor party chairmanship, said that during the upcoming Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the extension of the "special Home Front situation” he would propose allocating funds to fortify factories in the south, expediting legislation on the fortification of structures and establishing a task force that would offer tax breaks for southern communities.
Earlier on Monday British Ambassador Tom Phillips met with Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal and visited a number of sites that were struck by Qassams.
Phillips said the UK was sympathetic toward the city’s inhabitants; he did not condemn the IDF’s attack in Gaza, but said Britain "hopes that Israel will act with restraint and avoid civilian casualties wherever possible."