Gaza rocket fire is not the only danger threatening the surrounding Jewish communities. Ten months after an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza hit a school bus heading towards Nahal Oz, the IDF has finished placing 200 warning signs in the open areas around the Gaza Strip.
The signs were posted in the Eshkol, Hof Ashkelom and Shaar Hanegev regional councils, mainly in areas attracting travelers five km from the border fence. IDF elements fear that terrorist groups will try to repeat the April 2011 attack by firing anti-tank missiles at vehicles or groups of travelers.
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The signs read: "This area is restricted at the sector commander's orders in light of sniper and rocket fire."
Blocked road near Gaza (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
Thousands of travelers visit the area this time of year to enjoy the blooming of flowers. The restricted areas are those closest to the fence.
Apart from posting signs the IDF is also planting eucalyptus and cypress trees around the communities and in various points along the routes, mainly in junctions and curves where cars tend to slow down making them more exposed to missile hits. The anti-tank missiles' range is estimated to include the new train station being built in Sderot which has prompted the IDF to arrange fortification and camouflage measures.
Warning signs posted around border fence (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
The old road leading to Nahal Oz where 16-year-old Daniel Viflic was killed is being closed from time to time due to rocket alerts. The IDF is also hoping residents will start using the new and safer road installed shortly after the attack.
"We have mapped out all the sensitive points but there are still small sections exposed to anti-tank rocket fire," a military source told Ynet. "We are doing our best not to restrict the movement of civilians and we estimate that terrorist groups will first attempt to target IDF forces before aiming at civilians."
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