Fortified building in the town of Berekhya
Fortified building in the town of BerekhyaDefense Ministry's Engineering and Building Department

The Defense Ministry's Engineering and Building Department, together with the IDF's Home Front Command, is completing a project to fortify dozens of classrooms, preschools, and public buildings against Hamas-fired missiles.

The fortification is part of a general project to rehabilitate and strengthen the Gaza-area towns, which were severely harmed during 2014's Operation Protective Edge.

Both the buildings' facades and windows are being fortified or replaced, so that children can remain in them as long as necessary during a war.

In the past several months, the Engineering and Building Department's Southern Command fortified 40 public buildings in Ashkelon (for a total of 14 institutions). Buildings were also fortified in Kfar Silver, Nehora, Netivot, and the regional councils of Sdot Negev, Lachish, Merhavim, Hof Ashkelon, and Sha'ar Hanegev, for a total of 3,000 square meters (32291.73 square feet) of fortified buildings.

In addition, another project is starting which will fortify 2,000 square meters (21527.82 square feet) of buildings in 28 Ashkelon schools.The project, which will also fortify several educational institutions in the Sdot Negev Regional Council, will cost 20 million shekels.

Israel's government also build security fences and paths, and added lighting around 12 towns in the Eshkol Regional Council.

"The fortification process which began during Operation Protective Edge continues until today, in a large number of towns," Defense Ministry Engineering and Building Department Vice Chairman Erez Cohen said. "Dozens of preschools and classrooms have been fortified during this joint project with the Home Front Command."

"This is a national project which will strengthen the Gaza-area Jewish communities and prepare them to better deal with emergencies in the future."

Meanwhile, as Israel fortifies its public buildings to protect civilians, Hamas funnels international aid intended to help rehabilitate Gaza and aid its civilians into building terror tunnels, and uses UNRWA schools as military bases from which to attack Israeli children.