Running for shelter in Ashdod (archives)
Photo: EPA

Alarming number of public shelters found inadequate

Following Operation Pillar of Defense Home Front Command compiles assessment of condition of fortified spaces in line of Gaza Strip missile fire

An internal document prepared by the Home Front Command following Operation Pillar of Defense and assessing the condition of public shelters in relation to missile range proximity from the Gaza Strip, indicates that 778 public shelters within a 40-kilometer range from the Gaza Strip are inadequate.


The Home Front Command classified 30 local authorities including cities, local and regional councils – some of which were hit hard during Operation Pillar of Defense.


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Amongst the parameters assessed were the potential for damage, the number of missile launching warnings and the gaps in the capacity to protect those using the shelters.


Heading the top priority list is Kiryat Malachi, a city of 23,000 inhabitants which received the most lethal of hits during the operation. There, fourteen of the 45 shelters were found inadequate and eight of them are in need of immediate renovation.


מקלט ציבורי בבאר שבע, ב"עמוד ענן". מקום רביעי ברשימה (צילום: שיר שטיין)

A Beersheba shelter (Photo: Shir Stein)


Second on the list is one of the most threatened of cities, Ashkelon, where of the 140 public shelters, 28 were found inadequate.


Third on the priority list is Ofakim. The Home Front Command found that the threat of potential damage in the city is highest and that of the 88 shelter, 51 are not in not up to par.


Beersheba comes in fourth, where 53 of the 258 shelters were found in poor condition.


In Netivot (ninth place) 28 of 54 were found insufficient and in Kiryat Gat (10th place) 39 of the 78 are inadequate.


The second level of severity includes cities like Ashdod (12 of 56 inadequate), Gedera (nine of 16), Sderot (all 42 are adequate), Omer, Lehavim and Bnei Ayish (100% sufficient). But the Bedouin city Rahat, which has 53,000 residents, has three public shelters, all of which are insufficient.


The Home Front Command has recommended giving renovation priority to the shelters that are not up to par in accordance with all criterion and of those top priority areas, 294 of the 534 shelters (55%) must be renovated.


Of the places on the next priority level, 66 of the 244 shelters (27%) must undergo renovation.


The Home Front Command defined in the document that an inadequate public shelter is a "shelter that does not enable even a short-term stay for various reasons including flooding or damage to windows and doors…and more."


Public shelters were intended mainly to protect residents in old houses, built between the 1950s-1970s and are not equipped with an apartmental fortified space or a public shelter in the building.


Military sources confirmed the details presented in this document and noted that in accordance with the law, the responsibility for public shelters in the State of Israel lies in the hands of the local authorities. The IDF Spokesperson's Office responded saying, "we have no intention of paying heed to an internal document representing just some of the wide-range staff work being executed by the Home Front Command."




פרסום ראשון: 04.05.13, 10:24
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