Ashdod is quietly preparing for the possibility of Palestinian rocket attacks.
Authorities in Ashdod, an Israeli port city of 250,000 some 20 miles from the Gaza Strip, said Monday they were putting the final touches on the civil defense apparatus such as public bomb shelters and loudspeaker warning systems.
The measures come amid anticipation that Hamas terrorists in Gaza will be soon be able to expand the range of their rockets, which have reached Ashkelon and Netivot, Israeli communities 12 and 14 miles away, respectively.
Hamas leaders said Monday that future rocket salvoes would go “beyond Ashkelon” – an apparent allusion to Ashdod.
Any rockets capable of reaching Ashdod also would have powerful warheads capable of causing major structural damage and loss of life, a potential disincentive for foreign shippers that currently use the port.