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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What's so important about Ashkelon?

This morning's Toronto Star points out three sensitive targets for the Kassams in and around Ashkelon in addition to its 120,000 residents:
The strike on Ashkelon ... exposes three extremely strategic vulnerabilities certain to alter the tenor of debate within Israel's security cabinet. The sensitive sites include:

  • The Rotenberg Power Plant, Israel's second-largest generating station which supplies an estimated quarter of the country's needs.

  • The Ashkelon Seawater Reverse Osmosis Plant, the largest desalination plant of its kind in the world. Launched last August, the facility is ramping up to provide an annual flow of 100 million cubic litres of water, an estimated 15 per cent of domestic demand.

  • The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company, which controls three oil pipelines reaching to the port cities of Eilat, Ashdod and Haifa.

  • A city of ancient roots, Ashkelon takes its name from the Philistine-era seaport that once stood on the Mediterranean Sea just north of Gaza.


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