Photo Credit: Ayal Margolin/Flash90
Israeli security and rescue forces at the site where a rocket from Lebanon hit a street in Kiryat Shmona, October 19, 2023.

Israel’s Defense Ministry’s National Emergency Management Authority and the IDF on Friday morning announced the evacuation of the residents of the northern city of Kiryat Shmona to state-subsidized guesthouses.

According to a Defense Ministry press release, “The implementation of the program was approved by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The IDF Northern Command notified the mayor of Kiryat Shmona a short while ago. The program will be led by the local municipality, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Defense.”


There were sirens in Kiryat Shmona and the nearby settlements of Kfar Giladi and Tel Hai on Thursday evening. Hezbollah and “Palestinian” terrorists in Lebanon this week fired anti-tank missiles at the northern settlements, including Kiryat Shmona, and at IDF positions on the border. The IDF responded with artillery fire and tank fire at the terrorists’ positions.

The decision to evacuate was confirmed over the phone by the government ministers on Wednesday, after deciding to expand the evacuation of the northern settlements up to a distance of five kilometers from the border. It appears that residents of the north who have already packed up and left their homes near the border will be compensated by the state.

The city was named after eight people, including Joseph Trumpeldor, who died in 1920 defending the outpost of Tel Hai against local Arab gangs. Its population is estimated at 24,000, the majority of whom are Jews, many of Moroccan descent. Located as it is near the Lebanese border, Kiryat Shmona is Israel’s northernmost city.

The people of Kiryat Shmona experienced a scare on Thursday, when the municipality announced that in recent days, unknown parties have been calling city residents, identifying themselves as members of the Home Front Command, and asking for details such as the number of people residing in their dwellings.

“We ask you not to cooperate with these callers and to report the calls immediately to the police,” the municipality said, adding that “the issue has already been transferred to the Israel Police and the Home Front Command. Thank you for your cooperation.”


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