The main task of the newly established office is to escort members of the foreign press who arrive to report on the situation, to direct media attention to the human drama and to the realities of life in the region, and to escort the many foreign delegations who arrive in the city on official visits.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

This week, the residents of Sderot and the surrounding settlements, who live in constant threat from the Kassam rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, received diplomatic reinforcement in the form of a Foreign Ministry representative office which opened in Sderot.

The main task of the FM staff members is to escort members of the foreign press who arrive in the city to report on the situation. They will also escort the many foreign delegations who visit Sderot, which circumstances have turned into a central stop for most official visits to Israel.

In cooperation with the Sderot municipality and the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council, the FM staff members will escort the visitors and present to them the human dramas as well as the intolerable routine of the region’s residents, facilitating FM efforts to explain the realities of life under Kassam fire to the world.

The establishment of the office in Sderot was initiated by the Media and Public Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which, in the last few months, has also initiated a series of events in Israel and abroad aimed at increasing international public and political awareness of the situation in Sderot. Some of the initiatives within this framework include lectures and meetings abroad of dozens of delegations of residents from Sderot and the surrounding settlements, the visit of Sderot mayor Eli Moyal to London and his meetings with prominent British leaders, an internet campaign on the topic of Sderot and the red-balloon exhibit in front of the UN headquarters in New York.

According to Aviv Shir-On, FM Deputy Director-General, Media and Public Affairs Division, the presence of FM staff members in Sderot serves a dual purpose: "On the one hand, they will be able to direct media attention to the human drama and to the realities of life in the region, and on the other hand it provides a clear message to the region’s residents that the Foreign Ministry is by their side, representing them in Israel and in every one of the embassies abroad".