Children in Sderot opened the new school year despite continued rocket fire from the nearby Gaza Strip.
Israel’s armed forces stepped up surveillance for Palestinian rocket crews in Gaza on Sunday as children in Sderot, as elsewhere in the country, began the new academic year.
At least two rockets fired by Islamic Jihad terrorists landed in the Sderot area. There was no damage. Israeli air strikes targeted several launch sites in northern Gaza but there were no reports of casualties.
Parents in Sderot, a hardscrabble southern town, had threatened to keep their children at home, relenting at the last minute in light of government assurances that the schools were sufficiently fortified.
“I can state that, today, every one of Sderot’s schools, with the exception perhaps of a small wing in one of them, has been protected in accordance with the regulations of the Home Front Command,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters.
“We fear for the security of our children and teachers everywhere, particularly in a place like Sderot. Given the dangers, we will do everything in a responsible manner.”