Schools in the south reopened on Wednesday, after being closed for three days because of a barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza.
Tens of thousands of students and teachers returned to their regular schedules after city mayors consulted with Israel Defense Forces, Homefront Command and emergency service officials, and decided to restore the daily routine of life in southern cities and towns. Officials said that if rocket and mortar attacks were to resume, schools and other public institutions would again be closed.
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More than 45 mortars and rockets were launched from Gaza against southern towns and villages over the past three days, endangering the lives of more than half a million people.
"We will not allow students to be harmed. As soon as the attacks abated, we decided to bring the students back to their schools," Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich said.
Danilovich took part in a discussion about the situation on Tuesday. He was joined by Negev and Lachish municipality officials, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, Ashdod mayor Dr. Yehiel Lasri and Ashkelon mayor Benny Vaknin.
Many schools in southern towns and villages still lack protection from rocket attacks, a fact that was emphasized during an emergency meeting of the Knesset Education Committee on Tuesday. Col. Benny Shick, the Homefront Command's structural reinforcement chief, said that by the next school year, all educational institutions within 15 kilometers of Gaza would be protected. The estimated cost of the project is NIS 500 miilion.
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