Comptroller: Israelis not adequately protected from rockets

More than two million Israelis lack adequate shelter in case of rocket attacks, finds State Comptroller Yosef Shapira.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira
Flash 90

More than two million Israelis lack adequate shelter in case of rockets fired from Gaza to the south or from Lebanon or Syria to the north, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira said in his newest report Tuesday.

Shapira determined in the report that Israel had not learned its lesson from the counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, which took place between July and August of 2014, during which Gaza terrorist groups fired thousands of rockets at the Jewish state.

"Although the military has envisaged a scenario in which Israel would be the target of thousands, or even tens of thousands of rockets and missiles, it is doubtful whether it has adequate capacity to defend the country properly," Shapira's report said.

The report added it was estimated in 2012 that 27 percent of Israelis -- more than two million people -- had no protection in the event of war.

The Comptroller said, however, that the figure was likely higher because some public shelters were unusable.

The IDF has said the Hamas terrorist group, which controls Gaza, and its allies, still have some of their rocket arsenal and are also working to rearm.

In recent years, Hamas has been working feverishly to rebuild its infiltration tunnel network into Israel, after the IDF destroyed the network during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

In addition, the group has invested considerable resources in the development and procurement of weapons, including long-range missiles that cover most of the territory of the State of Israel.

As part of these efforts, Hamas conducts ongoing missile tests meant to advance its domestic rocket arsenal ahead of its next terror war against Israel.

In Lebanon, meanwhile, Israel estimates that Hezbollah has more than 100,000 rockets and missiles capable of reaching most of Israeli territory.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who served for a while as Home Front Defense Minister, responded to the State Comptroller's report, saying it "demonstrates, unfortunately, my point from two and a half years ago: The Home Front obviously needs one central supervising body with all the necessary powers."

"As long as the issue is under the responsibility of the Defense Ministry – the Home Front will always be a low priority," he added.

Opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog, head of the Zionist Union party, blasted the government over the findings in Shapira’s report.

“This report highlights the feeling of every citizen that everything has been neglected,” charged Herzog, adding, "If we’ve reached a situation where corrupt considerations are related to the procurement of submarines, and now it turns out that the security of children and families against rockets has not been taken care of, then everything is neglected.”

"It's no longer a matter of Netanyahu’s voters and Herzog’s voters; missiles do not differentiate between those who voted for this person or those who voted for that person, and when the Prime Minister is exhausted and tired from dealing with his associates and his investigations, we are all affected," added Herzog.

The IDF responded to the report as well, saying, "The IDF welcomes the comptroller's report, will study its main points and will generate the necessary lessons. The Home Front Command will continue to work with state institutions to prepare the citizens of Israel for a variety of emergency situations."

AFP contributed to this report.




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