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Netivot mayor Yehiel Zohar urged the defense establishment Monday to open pre-school centers in bomb shelters.

Zohar told members of the Knesset Interior Committee, who visited the rocket-battered town Monday, that the setting up of pre-school facilities would enable parents to leave the shelters.

Meanwhile, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said plans to enable the opening of pre-school centers were underway.

Zohar stated Monday that 50 percent of the city's residents were not properly protected, adding that many of the city's buildings were built from timber or had tiled roofs, and therefore provided weak protection against rocket fire.

Zohar emphasized that the most vulnerable sectors of the population, including old people and new immigrants, live in these homes.

Also Monday, the chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee, Ophir Pines-Paz, called for the IDF to refrain from occupying the Gaza Strip.

"Just as there is a 100 percent effort militarily, there should also be a 100 percent effort diplomatically," Pines-Paz said. "We have an important diplomatic opportunity that we must not miss."