In a scathing report, the State Comptroller on Tuesday slammed the administration of several of Israel's largest cities, and had harsh words for the way cities deal with a number of issues – including how municipalities, as well as the Welfare Ministry, fail to act to prevent violence in families.
The report said that Haifa was still very polluted, and the amount of pollutants in Haifa Bay were dangerous to residents; that gas stations in Tel Aviv were under-supervised, and created hazardous conditions in the city; and that the city of Lod was weighed down by corruption and high crime.
But perhaps the harshest words in the report were reserved for municipalities in general, with the report saying that they had “failed” to prevent domestic violence, which often led to injuries among women and children, and sometimes even murder. It was the cities' responsibility to provide “defense methods and protection to those who are victims of domestic violence,” and they were not doing so, the report said. There have been several high-profile cases of domestic violence that resulted in the death of female spouses reported in Israel recently.
One of the problems, said the report, was that there was no organizing group that was in charge of developing methods to combat the scourge. “The Welfare Ministry must ensure that a forum is established immediately to develop these methods, in line with government decisions,” it said.
The report stressed that this was not the first time that the issue had been addressed in its reports. And in other areas that the report had addressed the failings of the Welfare Ministry, the Ministry had also failed to take substantial action. “The Ministry must establish a computerized database that will allow analysis of statistics on those suffering from domestic violence, and ways to deal with the problem.”
In addition, the report added, “municipalities must undertake long-term and wide-ranging educational activities, especially among new immigrants where many of the domestic violence incidents are reported, and inform residents of the options they have to protect themselves from domestic violence.”