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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Comrade Peretz declares martial law

Although the media isn't calling it that (JPost - State of emergency; YNet - Special situation; Haaretz - Special status/special home front situation), this morning, defenseless 'defense minister' Amir Comrade Peretz declared martial law in the communities surrounding Gaza. The declaration is good for 48 hours, but it is expected that the cabinet will extend it. To give you context, this is exactly what the government did in the north last summer when they didn't want to admit that what was going on with Hezbullah was a war. Peretz did this after five more Kassams were shot into Sderot this morning, one of which scored a direct hit on a (fortunately empty) house. About a quarter of Sderot's residents have left town.

Haaretz summarizes what this means:
Officials said that the order would allow the government to offer compensation to residents whose property is damaged by the rockets, and to offer other forms of financial support and compensation as well.The status would also enable the government to order workers employed in firms considered vital, including the Israel Electric corporation, hospitals bakeries and local governments, to stay on the job.

But it remained unclear if the compensation would be equal to that received by prople whose property was damaged in war. The declaration will also require government approval, if it is to be extended past the next two days.

The declaration came as Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal demanded that the government declare a state of emergency and take responsibility for its security situation.

Schools will not open in Sderot on Sunday. Thousands have left Sderot over the last four days, some to organized recreation spots and others independently. The Sha'ar Hanegev regional council will send junior and junior high pupils to activities in other areas today. The Eshkol council will close down two schools near the Zohar communities.
YNet adds that the communities covered are
Sderot, Ohad, Tzohar, Sdeh Nitzan, Talmei Eliyahu and other communities in the Gaza vicinity area.
Comrade Peretz and Ehud K. Olmert also agreed last night to 'speed' the construction of secured rooms in homes with 200 to be built each month. Assuming this actually happens (and it has been promised in the past), at that rate, and several thousand Kassams from now, less than half of Sderot's homes should be protected in a year.

To give you a sense of where this is really going, the IDF's southern command is preparing for Kassams to hit Ashkelon - and not just on the southern outskirts of town as has been the case until now.

I should perhaps add to this that in the aftermath of Gulf War I in 1991, a law was passed that all new residential construction had to include what is called a "Mamad" - a room that can be sealed in an airtight fashion and that is reinforced against missiles. Our home, on which construction was started in 1993-94 has such a room. The theory is that if there are reasons to do so, we would go to the Mamad rather than to the types of bomb shelters you all saw on TV last summer (which do not exist in our neighborhood, since our neighborhood was entirely built after 1991). The problem is that the Mamad is not suitable for long-term use: for example, it does not include a bathroom. It is also the smallest bedroom in our house. In 2003, when the government feared we would be attacked by Saddam Hussein in response to the US invasion of Iraq, we actually prepared our room (Mrs. Carl's and mine) to be the sealed room. We have a master suite that includes a bathroom and a shower, but we do not have the reinforced concrete in our room, nor is it capable of an airtight seal without an awful lot of tape and plastic. But we planned to use it anyway.


At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I want to know is - what happened to the two lefty American professorial types who went to Gaza to stand on the roofs of houses acting as oxygen thieves / human shields against the evil Israeli military?!

WTF are they???

Why aren't they in Sderot?

Could it be they are Jew haters?!

well, colour me surprised!!!


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