For many Israelis the matter of an Israeli military strike against Iran is not a question of ‘if’ as much as it is ‘when’. This lends to increasing dialogue addressing homefront preparedness for such an eventuality, including the border community of Kiryat Shmona, home to 22,000 residents.
Over 1,000 missiles pounded Kiryat Shmona during the Second Lebanon War, and after spending 3 million NIS a year, city director Eli Cohen feels the budget is insufficient and they simply need more money. Cohen confirms that much progress has been made in the city’s network of bomb shelters but they lack the funds to complete the work and no less important, for maintenance of the shelters. Cohen told Israel Radio the city lacks the necessary funding and despite this, he and others will continue doing the best they can with the given realities.
In Tzfas, Ziff Hospital was hit during the war and there have been calls to fortify the hospital but to date, this has not been done. With the government cutting the Health Ministry budget, it is unlikely for Ziff to see any improvement any day soon.
Haifa has seen much improvement, more the result of successful private fundraising than from government funding. A new fortified command center in the Hadar neighborhood is four months from completion. For Haifa Mayor Yonah Yahav, six years after the Second Lebanon War and 18 months after the tragic Carmel Forest blaze, he has learned many lessons and his staff has busied itself to collect private donations towards constructing emergency centers in the city that will house all emergency services under one roof in emergency times.
Yahav told Israel Radio that the center in the Hadar area will be the most modern in the country to the best of his knowledge and he plans at least one additional center in the future.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)