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Back to class: Sderot schools ready to reopen despite lingering threats

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Middle East | March 2, 2024 4:56:46 AM IST
Tel Aviv [Israel], March 2 (ANI/TPS): Schools in the Israeli city of Sderot will reopen on Sunday for the first time since the October 7 attacks, the municipality said on Thursday.

A total of 120 educational institutions, including daycare centers, kindergartens, and schools, are set to resume operations.

"From the moment the Home Front Command issued instructions according to which educational activities can be held in the city, we worked together with the Ministry of Education to open the frameworks," said Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi.

"Now it is the role of the IDF and the political echelon to give us security and prevent rocket fire towards the city. We will continue to demand absolute security for the residents of Sderot and the surrounding area," he added.

More than 200 soldiers and civilian security personnel will be stationed throughout the city to safeguard educational facilities and other public venues. Soldiers will accompany students on buses, offering assistance in the event of rocket fire.

In the coming months, an additional army battalion will join Sderot's existing security forces. During the Battle of Sderot, 50 civilians and 20 security personnel were killed.

The city, accustomed to rocket fire since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, is equipped with specially protected spaces. Most municipal buildings, including a 3,000-square-foot indoor recreation center for children, have been fortified. The city of 27,000 is about four km from the Gaza border.

To ensure readiness, the municipality conducted a series of comprehensive drills simulating various scenarios with security personnel and emergency responders.

Sderot's education department also conducted preparatory workshops for educational staff, including psychological support services, in anticipation of students' return. (ANI/TPS)

 
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