Olmert visits North, says northerners feel safer

The best thing that happened since the war is that "the northern residents' sense of security has greatly improved since a year ago," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared during a visit to northern Israel on Monday. Olmert and Shlomi Mayor Gabi Na'aman toured the border town, where residents told him of the difficulties that they had endured during the war. Referring to the deserted Hizbullah posts overlooking the town, Olmert asked whether the residents' outlooks have changed since the war. The mayor responded that the situation was considerably different. "We are no longer being observed daily", Na'aman said, adding that in the past, "every time we opened our mouth to speak we knew that someone was listening". The prime minister also visited the bomb shelters that served local residents during the war, and Na'aman told him that despite funding promised by the government - and although over a year has passed since the war - the shelters were still inadequate for a lengthy stay. After four or five days "people simply must go outside for fresh air. The shelters do not have enough supplies", the mayor said.