The Israeli Health Ministry is immediately allocating an additional 200 million shekels ($51.8 million) for the fortification of hospitals against rocket and missile attacks.
The additional funds come on top of 75 million shekels ($19.5 million) transferred since Hamas launched its multi-pronged attack on Israel last month.
Monday’s announcement follows negotiations between Health Minister Uriel Busso and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
“In this time of escalated warfare, we must provide maximum security to patients, staff and hospital visitors. I thank the finance minister for understanding how critical this is and for applying himself to this national undertaking,” Busso was quoted as saying.
Fewer than half of the operating rooms in Israeli hospitals are “protected spaces”—that is, built to withstand blasts and shrapnel from conventional weapons, Kan News reported.
In addition, only 30% to 40% of hospital beds in general hospitals in Israel are in protected spaces.
In many hospitals, surgeons are forced to leave patients in the middle of an operation when a siren sounds warning of incoming missiles if the operating room is not protected.
Among them are major institutions including Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in Ramat Gan, Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah and Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have fired more than 9,500 rockets at Israeli territory since Oct. 7, the Foreign Ministry said last week.
Terrorists’ rockets have repeatedly hit Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon during the current war, with hits reported at the hospital’s children’s and maternity wings.