The Ma'agalim elementary school in the Sdot Negev Council district is closing its classes until the incessant rocket attacks are silenced, a parents' committee said Wednesday. High school and middle school children throughout the country began their summer vacations just as the rocket attacks began to escalate.
"The government promised us a safe space,” said Avidan Califa, head of the parents' committee at the school. “But the shelters that we were promised won't be available until September.”
The bottom line: it's simply too dangerous to send the children unprotected to school, Califa said. "Until a solution is found, or calm is restored, we are not going to send our children to school,” he declared. “The state has not stopped the rocket fire; it has yet to come to its senses,” Califa added.
Residents in nearby Netivot, who were also targeted in the past two days by rocket fire and whose children likewise attend Ma'agalim, agreed. "Those who live in the south know it's a problem to send our children to an unfortified school – they are very afraid,” one mother said. “At least we have a reinforced shelter in our home.”
More than 200 missiles were fired at Israelis living in the south just a few months ago, in March. For nearly a week, 200,000 school children missed classes and more than one million Israelis were trapped in their homes due to the constant barrage of rocket fire from Gaza, aimed at civilians living anywhere from less than a kilometer to more than 40 kilometers away from Gaza.
Thus far, no other community has canceled classes for the remaining days of the elementary school year.