IDF Homefront Commander Major-General Eyal Eisenberg visited Elad to meet with Mayor Yitzchak Edan. The senior commander was accompanied by Colonel Yoram Lerdo, who is the Homefront Command’s district commander for the area including Elad.
The mayor cited the severe budgetary issues that do not permit the city to achieve a proper level of emergency preparedness, including the fact that 78% of the school’s are not properly fortified to operate during a wartime situation.
Mayor Edan added that in time of an emergency, the fact the city has one entrance will become increasingly acute. He explained that his staff addressed this urgent matter, but the plan for an additional entrance/exit to the city was halted by the environmental activists.
Adding to Elad’s concerns is a matter that is pertinent to many members of the chareidi tzibur, the fact that their kosher mobile phones cannot send or receive text messages and therefore, they are not included in the Homefront Command’s alert system, which is undergoing nationwide testing this week. This system will deliver alert messages to mobile phones nationwide, but it cannot work with the present realities of the kosher cellular telephones in Eretz Yisrael.
Major-General Eisenberg stated “It may be that we are in a very difficult period, especially considering Elad’s strategic location (close to Ben-Gurion International Airport). We must be prepared for any eventuality.”
Eisenberg stated that he feels the best protection would be safe rooms being placed around the country. His office approves adding 40,000-80,000 of these units annually. He acknowledged the problem regarding mosdos chinuch, which the senior officer added will be addressed but it will take a number of years.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)