Photo: Ahiya Raved
Ashkelon Mayor Roni Mehatzri
Photo: Ahiya Raved

Ashkelon wants budget against Qassams

Rockets landing in Ashkelon last week and estimates that attacks could increase prompt city's mayor to turn to gov't demanding budget for emergency preparations

Defense establishment estimates that Palestinians terror groups were eyeing Ashkelon as their next target led to great panic and preparation in the city on Monday.


Reserves forces were posted at the Magen David Adom center and police officers increased their presence in the city.


On Tuesday, Ashkelon Mayor Roni Mehatzri is scheduled to hold a special council meeting in which officials will discuss the security situation in the city, and the possibility that its residents may be faced with the same Qassam threat as their southern neighbor Sderot suffered.


Mehatzri held a meeting with Director General of the Prime Minister's office Raanan Dinor and presented him with demands for immediate aid for the purpose of making emergency preparations.


The preparations consist of financial benefit packages including funding emergency medical equipment, an alternative generator for the municipality, budgets for increasing personnel, emergency vehicles and budgets for upgrading public bomb shelters.


At the end of the meeting it was agreed that Dinor would take the demands for government approval. The specific demands awaiting approval include granting companies from Ashkelon's southern industrial zone the same financial benefits granted to all Gaza vicinity communities, and a NIS 3 million ($749,000) budget for maintaining public shelters and purchasing an emergency generator.


A NIS 2.5 million ($624,000) budget for purchasing medical equipment and making emergency preparations has already been approved for Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center and it was agreed that the fire department would also received financial aid.


City Council member Haim Cohen appealed to the prime minister last week with a request to remove VAT in Ashkelon.


"Since we regretfully have not received any real aid in the city so far, I propose the VAT in Ashkelon be removed in order to help it and the business owners in the city," Cohen explained.


פרסום ראשון: 05.21.07, 20:07
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