By midday, 42 sirens had been sounded in south Tel Aviv since October 7, and several rocket and shrapnel hits were recorded. The difference between the southern neighborhoods and the rest of the city, most of which are not protected, and therefore today (Tuesday) a petition was filed in the Supreme Court by a number of residents of southern neighborhoods against the commander of the Home Front Command, Major General Rafi Milo, and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai for abandoning them.
Interceptions over Tel Aviv • Recorded alarm
According to the petition filed by six residents of neighborhoods in southeast Tel Aviv, neighborhoods with ten thousand households are subject to significant gaps to the point of complete disadvantage of protection against the threat of rocket fire.
The petition notes that this is clearly reflected in the petitioners' residential neighborhoods and adjacent neighborhoods such as Yad Eliyahu, HaTikva and Jaffa, where many residents live in buildings built prior to the establishment of the state, buildings that lack protected spaces for apartments, floors or shelters. The number of public shelters in these neighborhoods is meager to nonexistent (for example, in every large Kfar Shalem neighborhood there is one public shelter at the Baal Shem Tov School), so that many residents lack the ability to reach the shelters within the timeframe set by the Home Front Command in order to protect themselves from rocket attacks.
Building damaged by a rocket in Tel Aviv, photo: The use is made in accordance with section 27A of the Copyright Law
"Although this problem of lack of proper protection is not new, and residents of Tel Aviv's eastern and southern neighborhoods have been complaining about the lack of proper protection for years, the frequency of the "rounds of fighting" against Hamas in Gaza, and perhaps also in light of the threat of missile and rocket fire from the north as well, and especially in light of the number of rockets fired at Tel Aviv in an iron sword war, indicate that at least an immediate – temporary solution should be brought about. To this problem and not to wait for urban renewal processes that will last for years, and even then there is no certainty that they will bring about a satisfactory solution to the problem," the petition states.
Hit area in Tel Aviv, photo: Gideon Markowitz
The petitioners also appealed to the municipality and the Home Front Command and demanded that they exercise their authority under the Civil Defense Law and act to protect them by placing prefabricated protected spaces in selected locations throughout the neighborhoods, in a manner that bridges the protection gaps and improves the deployment of protection in these neighborhoods. According to the municipality's response, there are a number of protective solutions available for public use in the petitioners' area. In response to the Home Front Command, it was claimed that the placement of these areas is done in accordance with professional and operational considerations, when the requested areas in the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo do not meet the Home Front Command's decision to place such areas within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip border. It was also argued that these structures are mobile structures designed to provide a certain protective response to temporary passersby in the public space, but not to provide a solution for those who lack protection. "In this situation, the petitioners are in fact left with the last option for protection, which is far from even the Home Front Command's method of providing a proper response to the unprotected, which is to leave their homes, prostrate themselves on the floor in the open space and hope that no rocket or rocket fragments will fall near them, since past cases show that in such cases their fate is in the hands of luck," the petitioners concluded.
A rocket hits a house in Tel Aviv, Photo: Getty Images
Yuval Zellner, candidate for mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, said in response: "Only today shrapnel fell in the Max Fine School and in Kfar Shalem, and we received more proof that Tel Aviv is not immune from harm. Despite the success of Iron Dome, air defense is not hermetic, so it cannot be that Tel Aviv still has tens of thousands of residents without proper protection.
Direct hit in Tel Aviv, photo: Gideon Markowitz
"The residents of southern and eastern Tel Aviv are not second-class citizens. They deserve protection just like everyone else in the city. It's possible and it's within reach. Unlike other problems that exist, this problem can be solved today with appropriate budgeting, the municipality only needs to change its priorities. The Tel Aviv Municipality has the money to provide mobile safe rooms for residents of the south and east of the city without changes in the existing budget. It's a matter of life and death and it needs to be dealt with before it's too late. I don't know anything more important than human life."
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