January 20, 2008
Aid extended to Sderot by the Israeli military has improved conditions for the rocket-rattled town, Ehud Olmert said.
The Israeli prime minister, who made an unannounced visit to Sderot last Thursday after the military's Southern Command was ordered to deploy personnel in the town to reinforce buildings against rocket salvos from the nearby Gaza Strip and help with routine affairs, said the measure has shown some success.
"I found a different atmosphere both in Sderot and its outlying communities. I found impressive determination, fortitude, fewer complaints but not less pain and concern, and great appreciation for the activity being carried on there," Olmert told his Cabinet in broadcast remarks Sunday.
Last week saw a surge in rocket fire by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups as Israeli forces pressed attacks in Gaza.
The Jewish Agency for Israel announced Sunday it has begun providing emergency relief grants of around $1,000 for Sderot residents who are injured, or whose homes are damaged, by rockets.
A total of $300,000 was last month earmarked for Sderot out of the Jewish Agency's Victims of Terror Fund, which is underwritten by the United Jewish Communities and Keren Hayesod.