The Lack of Shelter in the Arab Towns in the North
Against the backdrop of the war, the authorities have made various decisions regarding the defense and shelter of the country's towns in general and particularly in the northern region. However, these decisions have not yet provided a satisfactory response to the Arab towns and their residents. The urgency in providing such a response gains secondary validity in light of the fact that the main disparity in the field of defense in the northern district is within the Arab towns. Most of the authorities lack public shelters, protected areas, and shelter facilities in educational institutions. For instance, only 11 out of 71 Arab local authorities examined in the State Comptroller's report in 2018 have public shelters.
On the 22nd of October, 2023, on behalf of the National Committee, we appealed (Hebrew) to the heads of the Arab local authorities in Israel, the Ministers of Defense, Interior, Construction and Housing, and the Head of the Home Front Command, demanding urgent promotion of adequate defense solutions for the Arab towns in the North and the allocation of the necessary budget for this purpose. In our appeal, the attorneys Raghda Awwad and Gadeer Nicola contended that the failure to promote a comprehensive response to the Arab towns is a flawed act that violates the fundamental rights of Arab citizens, including the right to life, defense, and equality. They emphasized that the differing reality in Arab towns, particularly in terms of planning and construction, largely being the outcome of historical neglect in planning and resource allocation, necessitates the promotion of various and alternative solutions that provide a satisfactory response to residents.