Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Israeli children play by a colorfully painted public bomb shelter, in the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz.

Nearly one-third of Israel’s population has no immediate access to a safe space in the event of a sudden rocket attack, according to the annual report published Monday by State Comptroller Matanyahu Engelman.

Approximately 2.6 million Israelis have no built-in bomb shelters – in Hebrew, a “MaMaD” – nor do they have access to an operational bomb shelter that is immediately, always open and located close to their homes.

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Worse, among those lacking this sadly essential element of Israeli life are some 231,650 residents of communities within the 40-kilometer (25-mile) Gaza Belt area, the report noted.

Southern Command Chief: We’ll Consider Evacuating Communities Threatened by Hamas Tunnels

Although development of evacuation plans for those living in that area in case of a new conflict were announced with much fanfare as far back as 2016, to this day no evacuation plans have yet been completed.

Similar evacuation plans were to have been developed for residents living in the northern Israeli sector as well, in Kiryat Shmona – but those plans have also come to naught.

IDF Thwarts Attempted Attack, Kills 4 Terrorists on Northern Border with Syria

Earlier this week, the Israel Defense Forces thwarted a late-night attempted terror attack Sunday night on the northern border between Israel and Syria, when soldiers spotted a terror cell attempting to place explosives near the security fence along the border.

Just a few days earlier, a separate Hezbollah cell also attempted to infiltrate into Israeli territory but was stymied by IDF soldiers. Hezbollah later denied that an attack had taken place at the site — that in fact, any incident at all had taken place at the site.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.