Ofakim Shuts Schools, Joining Be'er Sheva

Southern town's mayor agrees with Be'er Sheva's that school should remain closed until rockets stop exploding.

Gil Ronen ,

Children in Ofakim
Children in Ofakim
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The town of Ofakim (pop. 24,000) in the Negev is joining Be'er Sheva and shutting down its schools Friday.

Schools in Be'er Sheva were closed Thursday, following a decision by Mayor Rubik Danilovich, despite an announcement by the IDF Home Front Command that schools could reopen.

Ofakim's appointed mayor, Tzvika Gringold, has decided to follow suit. The Ofakim municipality explained that disagreements between the heads of the Home Front Command and heads of the large local government authorities had caused the public to experience fear and confusion. Therefore schools would be closed on Friday, which is a short school day anyway.

"We hope that the upcoming weekend will be utilized for discussion and coordination of positions between IDF commanders and head of local government," the municipality said.

In the early afternoon Thursday, the Iron Dome system intercepted a Grad missile that Gaza terrorists had fired at Be'er Sheva. Danilovich stated: "The State of Israel must show determination in defending its citizens and make clear to the terrorists that a red line has been crossed. I have said in a clear way – when missiles are being fired, there are no studies. This is the formula."