Photo Credit: David Cohen / Flash 90
View of a bomb shelter that was open in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat, May 8, 2018

The Israel Air Force deployed Patriot missile defense batteries in the northern sector late in the day on Wednesday in what was seen as an addition layer of protection against a possible attack by the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla force.

The system adds another layer to the defense systems that have already been deployed in the region, such as the Iron Dome anti-missile defense batteries that were moved into place a few weeks ago.

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A report recently published by the Israel Builders Association based on data provided by the Central Bureau of Statistics has raised the alarm among officials and residents, warning more than 800,000 civilians have no bomb shelter or safe space in their homes, Ynet reported.

After the 2014 Operation Protective Edge war against Hamas in Gaza, the Netanyahu government “prioritized” the issue of fortifying Israeli homes against rocket attacks both in the south and in the north. A plan to provide aid for construction of bomb shelters in residential homes (“mamad”) was approved as well – but nothing came of it on either front.

A NIS 5 billion security plan approved by the Netanyahu government one year ago also came to naught.

Israelis in the north with no access to such protection in the event of a rocket attack are advised by IDF Home Front Command to lie on the ground and shield their heads with their hands.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah operatives are continuing to build a precision-guided missile production facility in Lebanon, and Iran is in the midst of constructing a massive military complex that will turn out to be its largest base in Syria.

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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.
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