Most Arab-Israeli Villages in Northern Israel Lack Access to Bomb Shelters

By Jack Khoury (Haaretz)

Published June 02, 2009.

Some 70% of Israeli-Arab villages in northern Israel have no access to safe rooms or bomb shelters, and 25% do not have emergency sirens, according to a report released Tuesday by the Israeli-Arab rights group “Mubadarah.”

The report also found that 80% of Israeli-Arab villages are not prepared to handle a crisis situation, including an escalated military situation, missile strikes or a natural disaster.

In Nazareth, Israel’s largest Arab city, there are no public shelters, and 75% of the residents have no access to private shelters, according to the report. In the Arava region, the report found that 99% of the residents have no access to shelters whatsoever.

In many of the Arab communities probed by the report, the only protected areas are inside the schools.

The report also found that in the majority of mixed Arab-Jewish cities in Israel, Arab neighborhoods are not prepared to face an emergency situation.

On Tuesday, Israel’s Home Front Command began a week-long nationwide drill to test the country’s preparedness for a catastrophe.

Tuesday’s drill tested the national system of 2,300 sirens and included a request for all citizens to enter their secure rooms for 10 minutes.



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