PM Olmert Visits Ashkelon
Photo by GPO 

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today made a working visit to Ashkelon ( in order to inspect the city’s emergency preparations regarding health, education, municipal administration and the various rescue services.  He visited eight-year-old Yossi Heimov, who was severely wounded in the shoulder by a Kassam rocket approximately two weeks ago and is hospitalized at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.  Prime Minister Olmert then spoke with the hospital management, members of the Ashkelon City Council and the bodies responsible for providing emergency services in the city.  They briefed the Prime Minister on their preparations for emergencies and on the difficulties and problems they have faced since Ashkelon has been under the threat of rocket attack.
Prime Minister Olmert paid a condolence visit to Gila and Guy Banai, the deaf parents of St.-Sgt. Liran Banai, who was killed last week when his jeep drove over a mine close to the Gaza Strip.
 Prime Minister Olmert visited the Harel School, where he met with teachers and administrators and spoke with students.  He observed a drill in which students prepared for a rocket attack.
At the end of his visit to Ashkelon, Prime Minister Olmert said that he was impressed with the preparations of the residents, the municipality and the various emergency services.  Regarding the relative calm in recent days, he said that he regretted that we must be prepared for a situation in which missile fire is resumed.  “Hamas suffered a harsh blow during the IDF’s recent action in the northern Gaza Strip and the fact that it is not firing now is in wake of the blow that it suffered and not because its members have become lovers of Israel.  The Government will continue in its struggle against Hamas, in accordance with the Cabinet decisions ( until there is a stop to the terrorism and violence in the Gaza Strip, the missile fire and the strengthening of Hamas,” the Prime Minister said.