Workers start installing bulletproof windows in Gilo

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Turgemann conceded that the four-month delay in actually getting to work stemmed from a long wait for government funding for the project, a figure that will reach more than $143 million.

"It was only last Thursday, that we got the official announcement from the Finance Ministry that the funds would be forthcoming," Turgemann said Tuesday.

He was speaking at a press briefing in a model bulletproof home that the team is using as its project headquarters on Gilo's Rehov Hadvash.

Although schools and kindergartens in the area have already been protected, local residents who wanted protection for their apartments have until now had no choice but to do the job themselves with sandbags or other materials, usually at their own expense.

Turgemann said, however, that the government decision to fortify so many homes was no easy matter, a step that he called "unprecedented in Israel or anywhere in the world."

Residents can choose from two models of high quality bulletproof glass depending on the type of window. The glass, while impervious to light weapons, is not safe from tank or machine gun fire.