(photo credit: Courtesy)
The chairman of Israel’s Federation of Local Authorities, Haim Bibas, warned the government this week of the pressing need to prioritize the safety of the existing Golan residents.
“We can never compromise on the safety, security and resilience of our front line citizens, whether on the Gaza border or in the Golan,” said Bibas, adding that a shortage of secure shelters and safe rooms creates an impossible reality for residents in communities in the Golan.
As part of a recent tour of the Golan Heights, Bibas met with the head of the Katzrin council, Dima Efratzav, and the head of the Ramat Hagolan regional council, Haim Rokach.
During the tour, the heads of the local authorities said that in a state of emergency, the residents of Katzrin and the Golan Heights Regional Council are not protected, especially in the connected homes where there is no safe room or shelter and the time allotted for them to get to safety is just 15 seconds. In Katzrin, for example, there are 2,774 houses without a safe room in the houses, and the story is similar in other communities.
Bibas demanded from Likud representatives in the government to allocate funding for this important issue in the northern and southern communities, stressing that in a state of emergency, thousands of Golan Heights residents would not be protected.
“Families with children, the elderly, the disabled, and others who are not able to run to the safety of a shelter within 15 seconds will be in danger for their lives,” Bibas said.
“We have received enough reminders of Hezbollah’s continued attempts to infiltrate and harm Israeli citizens. I, therefore, strongly demand now before the security situation in the North escalates, that the future government must protect civilians and ensure that essential state services and functions can continue up to 45 km. from the border. Security and our home front resilience is independent from elections and is our first responsibility to our citizens.”
Bibas applauded the move to create a new village in Golan named after President Donald Trump, calling Trump the greatest friend Israel has had in the White House.
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