A decrease in the number of Qassam rockets fired from Gaza at Israel was registered in 2007, compared to the previous year, Home Front Command Chief Brig.-Gen. Yair Golan said Tuesday.
According to data presented by Golan during a meeting of the Knesset's State Control Committee, 1,488 rockets landed in Sderot and the Gaza vicinity communities in 2006, compared to 1,150 in 2007.
Home Front officials told Ynet that some 400 rockets have been fired at the area surrounding Gaza since the beginning of 2008.
Golan briefed the MKs on the Home Front's plan for the fortification of the region, which includes building secured rooms in 3,180 houses in Sderot and its neighboring communities.
The program is expected to cost some NIS 350 million ($97 million).
Golan stressed that an effective alert system was the command's top priority, and that the fortification of public structures – particularly education facilities – was another important issue.
Members slam government
During the discussion, Golan said that approximately NIS 500 million ($138 million) have been invested since 2001 in various fortification projects in the area, mainly schools and day care centers.
Golan also noted that the IDF has not seen an increase in the size of Qassam warheads or an improvement in the accuracy of the shooting.
At the opening of the meeting, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss stated that the government had an obligation to protect the residents of Sderot and that "fortification works should be completed at once."
Committee chairman, MK Zevulun Orlev, claimed that a similar discussion could not have taken place in any other country in the world. "In any other country, the government would know how to act firmly in order to protect its citizens, who are being attacked everyday."
Orlev also slammed the Prime Minister Office's director general for failing to attend the meeting, saying that his absence reflected the government's treatment of the issue.