Gov't not doing enough to strengthen home front security, Lindenstrauss says in Galilee

Says leaders must make funds allocated for security purposes available without delay.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss found during a trip to the northern Galilee on Tuesday that only about half the shelters in Kiryat Shmona have been renovated since the Second Lebanon War. "The central government and the local authorities must do more regarding this matter - and the sooner, the better," he said. Lindenstrauss visited shelters in the city and met with the municipal council. Afterwards, he visited communities in the Upper Galilee Regional Council. In his talk with Kiryat Shmona council members, Lindenstrauss reminded them of some of his findings on the performance of the city during the war, in his stinging critique of the government's overall handling of the home front. The faults included the city's negligence in distributing food to residents living full-time in bomb shelters. He also pointed out that the municipality did not use all of the contributions it had received during the fighting for projects connected to the war. In one case, the city gave NIS 8,000 to a Kiryat Shmona tennis player. According to the statistics presented to Lindenstrauss, 70 of the 312 shelters that have been renovated so far were cleaned up by the Livnot U'Lehibanot organization. They have become dual-purpose spaces, used for youth activities in peacetime and shelters in emergencies. "I must say that in the matter of shelters, something has been accomplished in Kiryat Shmona," said Lindenstrauss. "But it is not enough. We heard from city leaders about all the steps that are to be taken in the near future, but it is important to stress that the local authority must do much more regarding shelters, and do so as quickly as possible." He added that all the other faults uncovered in the report must also be dealt with immediately. "If we don't start now to resolve the problems uncovered in the report, we will not be in a different situation than we were in [during the last war.]" He told the leaders that they must make funds allocated for security purposes available without delay.