Third of Israelis in the periphery do not feel safe and consider moving

40% of Israelis living in the northern and southern periphery areas don't feel safe, a new survey published by the Knesset's Research and Information Center found.

Rocket strike on Tuesday  (photo credit: MAARIV)
Rocket strike on Tuesday
(photo credit: MAARIV)
Close to half of Israelis living in the north and south of the country do not feel safe, and a third are considering moving due to security concerns, according to a new survey published by the Knesset’s Research and Information Center.
The study published on Tuesday showed that 40% of residents living in Israel’s periphery do not feel safe, and 31% of those in the North and 28% in the South are considering leaving.
In the South, there have been over a dozen rounds of violence between the IDF and Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip over the past year and half, including two weeks ago when Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired over 400 rockets toward southern and central Israel.
In the North, there have been several incidents of rocket fire by Iranian-backed Shi’ite groups and Hezbollah.
The survey was based on the responses of 1,400 Jewish and Arab residents in Israel’s North (Acre, Afula, Beit She’an, Metulla and Haifa) and South (from Ashdod to Eilat), all over the age of 25.
The research found that out of those surveyed in the North, 41% of Arab residents don’t feel safe compared with 17% of Jews.
According to the data, 42% of residents in southern Israel does not have a shelter or protected space in their home, and one out of every seven lack access to a safe room or public shelter nearby. In the Arab sector, one out of every four residents do not have access to a safe room or public bomb shelter.
In the North, 35% of residents said that they don’t have access to bomb shelters near their homes, and 36% do not have one at home.
The survey stated that those who did not feel safe yet were not considering leaving their homes was due to economic considerations among Jewish respondents, and family reasons among Arab respondents.
A recent report published by the Israel Builders Association based on data provided by the Central Bureau of Statistics painted a grim picture of a lack of fortifications in the face of a missile attack by Hezbollah, with some 800,000 civilians in northern Israel lacking a bomb shelter or secure space.
Last year, former defense minister Avigdor Liberman said that since the last war in the North in 2006, the government has invested some NIS 236m. in protective facilities  in the North – which is home to about 244,000 Israelis – or approximately NIS 970 per resident.
Over the same period of time, the government spent some NIS 1.7 billion in southern Israel around the Gaza Strip where some 46,000 residents live, spending an estimated NIS 37,000 per resident.
Liberman planned to fortify buildings up to 45 km. from the Lebanese border, but the plan was canceled a year later.
Giora Zeltz, head of the Upper Galilee Regional Council, was quoted by Yediot Aharonot in September as warning of a disaster should Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah choose to fire his massive missile arsenal toward populated areas.
“More than 50% of the people in these areas don’t have shelters, and when a major event happens there will be hundreds of thousands with no shelter to protect them,” Zeltz said. “We’re talking about a very large area with zero response time. We need to fortify all the public and educational buildings by the end of 2020. With all the stupidity floating around, nothing is happening.
“There’s a real dissonance between the government’s claims and its actions. According to the government, more than 100,000 missiles are expected to land from Rosh Hanikra all the way to Mount Hermon. Think about the day when those missiles fall on populated areas.”