Mayor of Sderot Alon Davidi spoke about the government assistance to the evacuated residents of his city, in an interview held Wednesday morning with Radio 103FM.
"We are in hotels, just residents of Sderot who are evacuated to hotels are a cost of almost half a billion a year," he said. "We received advances from the Ministry of Defense who worked with us in the first month. We are now reaching an agreement with the Ministry of Tourism, and everything that we get, we pass on."
He also said: "I feel that in an emergency, more is always needed. I will give an example: The residents of Sderot received a grant of NIS one thousand per person at the beginning of last month. This grant should be given to the residents this month as well. Ultimately, the evacuees have homes in Sderot and were in fact, displaced from there, so they have no clothes and need to do their laundry and many other things."
"In the last few days, we have established dozens of schools, kindergartens, we are establishing day care centers, we are trying to provide activities for both adults and youngsters.
"I told the minister - and I think he accepted this assumption - that just as the army is now inside Gaza or outside Gaza and in fact it receives secure credit to operate, we need to provide the civilian frontline with what they need in an orderly manner, without having to push and shout every time."
However, he emphasized: "To come and say that the government is not working is nonsense. I don't know what is being said about coalition funds, but I can tell you that we have a continuous dialogue with everyone, from the Director General of the Prime Minister's Office, to the Prime Minister, with whom I also met last week."
Regarding the municipality's expenses, he said: "We actually spend millions of shekels on all kinds of needs, whether it's aid, whether it's vouchers we distributed on our own initiative, whether it's all the laundry we do for the residents, whether it's all the equipment we bought and purchased for all the residents, whether it's thousands of meals we distributed inside Sderot in the first few days. I also feel lost, I am also dealing with a situation where part of the family is in one place and part of the family is in another. Every night I am in a different place."
Regarding when the residents of Sderot will be able to return home, Davidi said: "I think that this matter should be dealt with by the Prime Minister, and the army should give us the answers. When it will be safe and when it seems that things are really continuing to improve ... If, for example, I return to Sderot now, I actually don’t know in terms of protection from the sky, in terms of daily routine."
"All in all, we have built, with truly tremendous strength, a system that gives a good response. We have coordinators in every hotel. We have an education system that works. Now to drive the residents crazy every two days and give them a different decision, I think that is also not the right thing," he concluded.