Safe to go to school? Ashdod under fire
Photo: Avi Rokach

Parents struggle to find solutions for kids as schools remain closed in south

Lack of rocket protection leads mayors in southern cities to close schools, but concerned parents are struggling to find solution for grounded kids as rockets continue to fall

Hiring nannies, take time off from work or even leaving the older siblings in charge of their younger brothers and sisters, these are some of the solutions being mulled by concerned parents in southern Israel.


The escalation in the south, which has created disorder and uncertainty over whether schools and educational institutions will remain open in the area, has left many families without a suitable solution.


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Meanwhile, a rocket exploded south of Ashkelon at around midnight on Monday night. No one was injured in the attack and no damages were reported.


רחובות אשקלון לאחר נפילת רקטות (צילום: אליעד לוי)

An Ashkelon home after a rocket attack (Photo: Eliad Levy)


"The atmosphere in the city is horrendous," Ilanit Abuhatzeira from Beersheba, mother to Ilai (3), told Ynet. "Now we need to try and make arrangements with grandmothers, neighbors, friends to see who can babysit my son. The fact that the schools are closed disrupts my daily routine.


"We are stuck at home because it's scary to go out. My friends are using up all their vacation days and it's a very expensive undertaking."


On Monday night the Beersheba municipality announced that schools would be closed Tuesday due to the recent escalation and the security situation. Ashkelon, Ashdod and Gan Yavneh are also closing schools.


Anat Baruch, mother of a 12-year old girl said that she leaves her daughter "in the fortified space every morning. She sleeps there anyway." And yet "there is always that fear, if she doesn't answer her phone when I'm at work. Last time the air raid siren went off she was outside and I felt awful, it the scariest thing in the world."


Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin who has in the past battled against local schools' parent committees and refused to shut down the local education system changed his mind this time around and led the move to close schools.


מערכת כיפת ברזל באזור אשדוד (צילום: שאול גולן, ידיעות אחרונות)

The Iron Dome system (Photo: Shaul Golan, Yedioth Ahronoth) 


"I won't endanger our children's lives", he said. "There is no question that the education system must be closed down so long as there is no protection in the schools and children are left sitting under their desks during air raid sirens," one Ashkelon resident said.


Yet in the nearby Hof Ashkelon Local Council, schools will be open for business in spite of the fact that three rockets fell within the council's jurisdiction. This has caused a great deal of concern from local parents who claim that the problem lies with transportation – what happens if there's a siren en route to school?


Ashdod has also closed its schools with Mayor Ofer Tzaban claiming that until a ceasefire is announced there is no point in holding gatherings in schools – some of which have no anti-rocket protection.


"We must wait until the situation is clearer, no point in going to school and then maybe having to lay wreaths at cemeteries."


Shmulik Hadad contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 11.01.11, 09:26
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