'Phone blackouts are 'first-class' security risk'

MK David Bitan toured Samaria on Thursday, while focusing on the lack of cellphone reception. "The situation today is catastrophic."

Orli Harari ,

The meeting today
The meeting today
Samaria Municipal Council

Coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) arrived on Thursday to tour Samaria, and meet and plan together with the head of the municipality, Yossi Dagan.

The problem of spotty cellphone reception on Samaria's highways came up during the meeting. In an area frequently struck by terror, cellular dead zones can be dangerous for security forces and citizens alike.

Bitan commented during the tour, "Cellphone reception on the highways is important, mostly for security, and also for the general good living of the residents. It is now one of the most important elements for the quality of life of the residents of Israel, and in all the world, so everything must be done in order to improve the topic of cellphone reception on the roads of Judea and Samaria. We will find the budgets, and we will add it to the budget of 2017-2018. We will act....in order that not only the security need will be met, but also the quality of life of the residents."

During the tour, Bitan commented on the discrimination against Judea-Samaria residents in the area of cellphone reception, relative to the rest of Israel. "The situation today is catastrophic, for both security and safety. When Jews, Arabs, and even soldiers are driving for operational purposes, hey can't use their cellphones, including main highways which have seen the victims of terror attacks. This is a first-class security risk."

Though the government promised a budget for improving cellular coverage, even after a series of deadly attacks on Samaria's roads, the budget has not yet come through.

Some 50 percent of Samaria's roads lack cellular reception.

Bitan promised to work in the government and the Knesset to bring forth a budget and resolve the problem.