A day after rockets fired from Lebanon landed in north Israel, the Knesset Subcommittee for the Examination of Home-Front Readiness discussed the preparedness of local authorities for emergencies. During the debate, which was chaired by MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Camp), Home Front Command Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Dedi Simchi said it would take 15 years to close the gap between the current level of fortification in the local councils and the desired level.

According to him, there are currently 69 local councils whose level of preparedness for an emergency is defined as high; 162 councils may find it difficult to function during an emergency and 26 will definitely find it difficult to function. Most of the local councils that are expected to have a tough time dealing with emergencies are connected to the Arab sector.

A representative of the Interior Ministry said the gaps in the levels of preparedness are wider than what the Home Front Command suggests, mainly with regards to emergencies such as earthquakes.

MK Peretz said, ”We will not let this issue rest until we know for certain which body is responsible. Responsibility is a crucial aspect, particularly in the northern sector. The head of a local council must know what his or her responsibilities are in the event of an emergency. What`s more, this subject has a major effect on the way the residents view us ahead of the future local elections.”