Council head: 2 men killed by rocket worked in area without proper protection

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The foreign nationals who were killed and injured in a Hamas mortar attack from the Gaza Strip were working in an area without proper fortifications, local government officials say.

The head of the Eshkol Regional Council of southern Israel, where the attack took place, says a packaging facility was directly struck by the projectile.

“The impact was within a community without protection, which was not included in the fortification policy and this is the terrible result we had today,” says Gadi Yarkoni, referring to a requirement for all communities within a close distance of the Gaza border to have proper protection on all buildings.

However, under the military’s current restrictions, businesses operating in the Eshkol area are regardless only allowed to be open if they have ready access to a bomb shelter.

Asked why these workers apparently did not have access to such fortifications or know to enter them as air raid sirens blared throughout the region, an Eshkol spokesperson says they did have access to a portable domed bomb shelter but that the matter is being looked into.

“They had a ‘bell’ shelter. I don’t yet know why they didn’t go into it,” she says.

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