Israelis in Bomb Shelter.
(photo credit: Amir Cohen / Reuters)
Jerusalem does not have enough public bomb shelters in older neighborhoods, but
that doesn’t really bother residents of those neighborhoods, The Jerusalem Post
found during an informal survey judging the city’s readiness for emergency
According to a municipality spokeswoman, there are
approximately 200 public bomb shelters concentrated in the city center, and
south of the city. Newer neighborhoods, including Ramot, Gilo, Pisgat Zeev, and
Ramat Eshkol, are better prepared because later zoning laws required contractors
to build bomb shelters within new buildings.
Even newer buildings now
require steel-reinforced “safe rooms” in each apartment.
Elisha Peleg (Likud), who holds the Security, Emergency Services, and Fire and
Rescue portfolio, said there are not enough bomb shelters for Jerusalem
residents and many of the bomb shelters need to be renovated and improved. He
compared this to the fact that there are also not enough gas masks for all
Israelis due to budget shortfalls.
“There are shelters and areas that
aren’t in good shape,” he said. “It’s about the order of preferences and budget
and the amount of money we have for development in the security
Nevertheless, said Peleg, the Council for a Beautiful Israel
recently awarded the municipality four stars for the maintenance of public bomb
All public bomb shelters that are not in use as synagogues or
community centers are locked to prevent misuse, and avoid residents’ use of them
for storage or local teenagers abusing drugs and alcohol in them.
said that in the event of an emergency, municipality workers who are responsible
for the maintenance of the bomb shelters are to make the rounds of the city,
unlocking all the bomb shelters. This process, he said, could take a number of
Despite the negatives, residents of the older neighborhoods were
“In Jerusalem, there will never be a war,” said Vitaly
Ustinor, a 22-year resident of Nahlaot, as he took a cigarette break next to a
locked bomb shelter. “There are Muslim holy sites. Who would shoot missiles
here?” Ustinor said that in the unlikely event of war, he expected it to be like
the Scud missiles of the 90s, which fell mainly in the Tel Aviv
Five-year Nahlahot resident Hillel Cohen was like most residents,
who didn’t even know where the bomb shelter closest to his apartment is
“I’ve never been inside and I’m not even sure where it is,” he
said. “It doesn’t bother me that there may not be enough [bomb shelters], I’m
not worried, I trust in God.”