Israeli cabinet okays plan to fortify homes against Gaza rockets

Israel Materials 24 February 2008 14:50 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Israel's cabinet approved Sunday a 327 million- shekel (61 million-euro) plan to fortify thousands of homes near the Gaza border, which are in range of rockets and mortars militants regularly launch from the salient.

"This will enable us to have a suitable defence by 2010, with a multi-layered protection system, to protect the residents of the (town of ) Sderot and the areas bordering Gaza," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert noted.

He added, however, that Israel did not intend fortifying every home and structure and there would be "no extreme protection."

A government statement issued after the meeting quoted Olmert as saying the defence would consist of several systems, foremost the "Iron Dome" rocket defence system, an early-warning system, and fortification of public buildings and new schools.

The Israeli cabinet is coming under increasing pressure to find a solution to the ongoing rocket fire from the Strip.

Hundreds of projectiles have been launched this year at Israeli towns and villages adjacent to the Strip and residents of Sderot, which lies about two kilometres east of the salient and has borne the brunt of the rocket attacks, have demonstrated in Jerusalem, and set up a protest tent in a central Tel Aviv square, to draw attention to their plight.