The IDF Home Front Command has yet to implement most of the measures necessary to prepare the North for a future war, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said Monday.
"While work in the North is ongoing, there are many, many things that are not happening to prepare our northern communities for war," Lindenstrauss told the Knesset State Control Committee. "While we all hope for peace, we need to be realistic and prepare ourselves in case there is no peace."
Shmuel Golan, an official in the State Comptroller's Office, told the panel there were a number of recommendations that had been made to Home Front Command that had not been implemented.
"The investigation is ongoing, but some of our initial suggestions, to establish local groups of volunteers, to evaluate each communities' supplies, to establish a set protocol for emergencies - none of these have happened yet," Golan said. "The problem is even greater in non-Jewish communities."
Reports of expired supplies and ill-equipped bomb shelters abounded during the Second Lebanon War; on Monday, Golan said many of those problems had not been fixed. Committee Chairman Zevulen Orlev (National Union-National Religious Party) showed the panel a first aid kit that was recently found in a bomb shelter in the North with an expiration date of September 1942.
"The Interior Ministry must certainly do more to help the local authorities in the North prepare themselves for a possible future war," said Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit (Kadima). "I believe part of the task is transferring more power back to local authorities so that they can take care of the problems in real time, on a more local basis, rather than always referring back to the ministry."