Why Isn't Lema'an Achai Hosting Hundreds of Refugee Families?

Unlike previous wars and operations, Lema’an Achai is NOT immediately launching a major program to house hundreds of families fleeing from the South, here in Beit Shemesh.

The reason is that this time, officially, Beit Shemesh is not a refuge.

The main targets of Hamas missiles are Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Beersheva.
Anywhere within 40 km range of the Gaza border is a vulnerable target.
So Kireat Gat and Kireat Malachi (where three civilians were killed by a missile today) are also within range.

This map illustrates the ranges of missiles and the Israeli cities under fire. 

You can see why Beit Shemesh was considered a (relatively) safe haven for families under fire. 

Five kilometers out of Grad range, made all the difference.

However, this map is now out-of-date.

Hamas now has Iranian Fajr-5 missiles in its arsenal.

The Fajr-5 has a range of up to 75 kilometers. This includes Tel Aviv.

That is why the IDF opened this campaign by targeting known Fajr storage and launch sites. According to the IDF Spokesman, “most” of the Fajr missiles were neutralized.

For the first time ever, a missile was aimed at Dimona this week, the home of  Israel’s nuclear reactor – previously significantly beyond Hamas’ range.

This was reported to have been a Fajr-5 missile.

So why isn’t Lema’an Achai hosting families from the South?

Because this is now the official policy in Beit Shemesh:

  1. It is no longer safe for families to come here.
  2. If we are hit, and there is significant destruction, chas veshalom, then communal facilities and resources will be required for the Beit Shemesh residents.

Of course, this policy will be constantly reviewed, on a daily basis.

So, at this point, Lema’an Achai is looking for volunteers prepared and willing to help in an emergency, G-d forbid, in Beit Shemesh (please email your information to susan@lemaanachai.org).

But Bet Shemesh is not currently opening the gates of the city for hundreds of families from the South, as we have in previous conflicts.

We’re holding fire on that one.


  1. People in the UK who want to send donations to local charities in the South of Israel and receive UK tax receipts can do so through http://uktoremet.org.uk/emergency-relief/

  2. David, I think your best point was that if we are hit, we will need our resources for ourselves. But although it is now possible for them to reach Beit Shemesh, it is still less likely. Families from Beer Sheva, Sderot, etc. are still more likely targets and families seeking refuge from the south are still going to feel safer her, for the time being. So I'm not sure turning people away is the right move.


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