Despite a ceasefire that went into effect at 9:00 p.m. (Israel time) on Wednesday evening, the Home Front Command is not taking any chances and schools in southern Israel will remain closed on Thursday.
According to the instructions issued by Home Front Command, schools and work places in communities located at a distance of up to seven kilometers from Gaza will be closed. Public gatherings are forbidden. Shopping centers in this area will remain closed on Thursday.
Schools will also be closed in communities located within seven to 40 kilometers from Gaza. Work places and shopping centers in this area will be open. Public gatherings attended by more than 100 people are forbidden.
As Hamas was still firing rockets after the ceasefire went into effect, sirens may still be heard in southern Israel.
In the event of a siren, people who are indoors are instructed as follows:
Enter an apartment protected space immediately and close the steel window shutter.
In the absence of an apartment protected space:
Enter the room farthest from the direction of the threat, with the smallest possible number of outside walls, windows and openings;
Close the door and the windows;
Sit on the floor (below the windowsill level) and lean against an interior wall. Do not sit in front of windows;
Upper story residents in a building with no apartment protected space are required to exit to the staircase and descend one floor down. A protected room can be a staircase or a corridor (provided they comply with the above conditions more than other rooms in the house).
People who are outdoors during a siren are instructed as follows:
In a built-up area – enter the nearest building and act according to the instructions for persons taking shelter indoors;
In an exposed area – lie on the ground face-down and cover your head with your hands.
People traveling in a vehicle during a siren are instructed as follows:
Stop by the side of the road, leave the vehicle and enter the nearest structure or cover. If you are unable to reach a structure or shelter within the given period of time, lie on the ground face-down and cover your head with your hands. If neither of the above instructions can be complied with, pull over and remain inside the vehicle for the next 10 minutes.
Following a siren residents are instructed as follows:
After 10 minutes, one may leave the protected area, unless another otherwise instructed. Stay clear of unidentified objects. Should you see a rocket lying on the ground, prevent gathering of bystanders and inform the security forces.
The HFC explained that the reason for lying on the ground and covering one's head if caught outside or in a vehicle is that the statistically greatest danger from rockets is the metal shrapnel flying through the air. There is less chance of being hit when one is flat on the ground and if hit, it is imperative to protect one's head.