Millions of Israelis lack adequate protection from rocket attack, report says

Fingerpointing ensues after report slams lack of progress in providing 2.6 million civilians shelter from rocket fire.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Despite enduring several wars after which promises were made to upgrade civil defense protection for civilians, Israel lacks bomb shelters for 2.6 million of its citizens, the State Comptroller announced in a report released Monday.

2.6 million residents in Israel (28%) live without standard protection,” the State Comptroller’s office said in a tweet.

“A multi-year plan for the years 2019-2030 decided by the political-security cabinet has not yet been formulated and has not been allocated a budget,” the report said. “Public shelters in localities near the border are not necessarily prepared for residents to stay in them for long.”

A total of 2.6 million Israelis — approximately 28 percent of the population — do not have access to adequate protection from rocket fire, according to a new State Comptroller’s report.

The report, published on Monday, found that Israel was facing a serious aerial defense challenge, with several hundred thousand projectiles in the hands of its enemies, and it noted that between 2000 and 2019 there had been 21,000 rockets and mortars fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip alone.

One major vulnerability was “vital facilities,” only a small number of which have the proper aerial defense measures in place. The Defense Ministry was singled out for criticism on this issue.

The report also severely criticized the current plan for evacuating the civilian population from border areas in the event of a conflict, characterizing it as deeply flawed and difficult to implement.

The IDF stated in response to the report, “The significant gap that emerges in the report concerns government decisions that have not yet been implemented.”

It added that a plan for the defense of northern Israel was already in its initial stages, during which the IDF would survey communities up to a kilometer from the border and assess their security and defense requirements.

This information would then be used “to provide a defense solution for the communities who require it in this sector,” the army said.