Bill leaves responsibility for bomb shelters unclear

Home Front Command, local authorities avoid responsibility in newly approved legislation; MK Eldad plans to stop "total anarchy."

Bomb shelter 390 (photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
Bomb shelter 390
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
The Home Front Command and local authorities will no longer be responsible for inspecting bomb shelters, according to a bill approved for its second and third plenum Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee decision this week.
MK Arieh Eldad (National Union) is planning a one-man filibuster for when the amendment to the Citizens’ Defense Law is brought to a vote, submitting hundreds of objections to the legislation.
The bill ostensibly transfers responsibility for supervising shelters from the Home Front Command to local authorities.
However, the language of the legislation says that local authorities “are permitted” to inspect shelters, not that they must.
MK Ze’ev Bielski (Kadima) presided over the meeting on Wednesday, which was closed to the press, saying that it would be ideal to force local authorities to act, but it is currently impossible because of budget constraints.
“This meeting simply authorized the agreements between the Home Front Command and the Union of Local Authorities in Israel on responsibility for maintaining shelters,” the Kadima MK explained. “I will make an effort to have additional funds transferred to local authorities that will allow them to take responsibility for 107,000 shelters.”
Bielski and MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas), both of whom began their political careers in local authorities, voted in favor of the bill, while Eldad opposed.
“Even though the threats on the home front are escalating and becoming more severe, the local authorities are trying to exempt themselves from responsibility ahead of the next war and the next investigative committee,” the National Union MK said.
Eldad said the amendment will bring “total anarchy,” and called it a “scandalous situation.”