Ten Rockets Hit Southern Israel, One Damages Ashkelon School

The school to remain closed Sunday; Ashkelon Deputy Mayor slams 'foot-dragging' in school reinforcing.

Ten rockets from the Gaza Strip struck Israel yesterday. Six targeted Gaza-area communities, two hit Ashkelon, one landed in the Eshkol district and one near Sdot Negev area, the Israel Defense Forces said.

There were no casualties or property damage, with the exception of one rocket that struck an empty schoolyard in Ashkelon.

The school was severely damaged, with shrapnel hitting some of the classrooms - including areas the Defense Ministry had defined as safe, Ashkelon municipal sources said.

Deputy Mayor Shlomo Cohen slammed the "foot-dragging" in reinforcing the city's schools. "The school that was hit was classified by the Home Front Command and the Ashkelon municipality as unfortified, and we have been requesting that this school be given basic, inexpensive protection. The solutions offered were approved by both us and the Home Front Command, and have been lying on the desks of the Defense Ministry chiefs for two weeks now," Cohen said.

Following the attack, Cohen met with the commander of the Home Front Command Southern District. They decided the school would be closed today, while its students would be sent to an alternative venue. All other schools in the city will function as usual.

"We share the anxiety of parents and fear the situation may escalate," said Cohen. "However, we must also remember that continuing with our daily lives is important for the education system and the entire city."

"Decisions will be made with the city's parents committee," he said.