Schools in the southern cities of Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon, which were shut down for the duration of Operation Pillar of Defense, will reopen Friday as the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas enters its second day.

However, schools closer to the Gaza Strip will remain closed for another day, and are set to reopen Sunday.

On Thursday evening, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced that he would visit a school in Beersheba on Friday morning, accompanied by the city’s mayor, Ruvik Danilovich.

The mayors of the three cities made the decision to reopen schools under their jurisdiction after receiving the approval of the Home Front Command and the local parents’ associations.

Workers place new bomb shelters in schools and day care centers in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon. April, 2009. 20 more shelters were due to be installed on Sunday 18th November after increased Hamas rocket fire at the city. (photo credit: Edi Israel/Flash90)

Workers place new bomb shelters in schools and day care centers in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon April 2009. 20 more shelters were due to be installed on November 18 after increased Hamas rocket fire at the city. (photo credit: Edi Israel/Flash90)

A statement released by the three mayors after their meeting said leniency and understanding would be shown toward students and teachers who had left town while the schools weren’t operating.

According to the statement, the three mayors recommended that teachers devote the Friday school day to discussions centering on the security situation in southern Israel, which directly affected the students.

Schools and colleges in Sderot, Ofakim and the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev and Hof Ashkelon Regional Councils, which are closer to the Gaza Strip, were set to remain closed until Sunday.