After death of child, IDF recommends bomb shelter windows be reinforced, but who will pay?

Bureaucracy appears to be stalling the Home Front Command’s recommendation after a five-year-old Sderot boy was killed by shrapnel during Operation Guardian of the Wall.

By World Israel News Staff

Following the death of five-year-old Ido Avigal of Sderot, who was killed by rocket fire from Gaza last month during the war with Hamas, the Home Front Command has recommended that thicker steel plates be placed over the windows of bomb shelters in locations within close proximity to the Strip.

Ido was in the safe room at the time but a piece of shrapnel that hit another apartment then pierced the metal window covering and struck the boy. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The heads of the authorities in the Gaza envelope, however, say that they will not bear the expense themselves, N12 reports. Neither is the Ministry of Finance involved in the matter, and the Home Front Command does not deal with the financial aspect.

Therefore, it may take some time for the Home Front Command’s recommendation to materialize, the report says. It is subject to a long chain of approvals: from the Home Front Command to the Chief of Staff to the Director General of the Ministry of Defense and then to the local authorities and the Southern Command – and only once a decision is made will it be discussed between the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Finance.

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The Home Front’s recommendation is valid for communities up to 7 km from the Gaza border, for 32-cm-thick windows. The IDF Spokesman justified the decision to validate the recommendation only up to 7 km in an “operational assessment.”

“Replacing a 32-cm-thick security window, as recommended by the Home Front Command, will cost at least NIS 20,000 ($6,000), because they will also have to replace the window frame, which is not thick enough,” Gadi Ofarim, owner of Ofarim Engineering and Construction, told N12.

Since Ido’s death and prior to the publication of the Home Front Command’s recommendation, the company has been developing new window protection that does not require the replacement of the existing window, Ofarim says, adding that it is possible to add a spring mechanism to the windows and thicken them at a cost of less than NIS 4,000 ($1,200).