Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai toured the municipality of Tel Aviv - Yafo today as part of the IDF's program to improve the preparedness of the Home Front for times of emergency. Vilnai met with Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai in the city's Situation Room and reviewed the municipality's plans for terrorist attacks, earthquakes, and rocket attacks. Vilnai and Huldai then toured a modern underground parking garage in the HaBima Theatre building which has been renovated to provide protection against chemical weapons. The facility can provide cover for over 1000 residents in an emergency.
During the tour of the shelter Vilnai said that "We are working in a variety of ways to improve the protection of citizens, including the distribution of gas masks, improving public bomb shelters, requiring the building of safe rooms in new houses, and utilization of existing underground facilities for bomb shelters. This shelter is an example of proper use of existing spaces and an efficient solution for cities like Tel Aviv which are densely populated."
"Also, we have instructed local authorities in Israel to locate underground facilities to be used for the protection of residents in an emergency. In any future conflict the enemy will see Tel Aviv as a main target because it is central and densely populated and therefore comprehensive preparation is needed for emergency situations. I am encouraged by the mayor's activities. He is taking care of the public's safety in a responsible fashion. "