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December 27, 2021 5:38 pm

Israel Fortifies ‘Northern Shield’ Along Lebanese Border to Protect Civilians Against Rocket Attacks

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli soldiers stand guard on the road leading to the Rosh Hanikra border crossing with Lebanon, northern Israel, Oct. 14, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

Israel announced on Monday that it expanded a program to install rocket-proof protection in the homes of another three communities located along the country’s northern border with Lebanon.

Under the Israeli Defense Ministry’s plan, dubbed “Northern Shield,” private homes in the communities of Metula, Shlomi and Shetula will be fortified to protect civilians from rocket or missile attacks. In recent years, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah has continually threatened to fire rockets at Israel from across the border.

“The civilian resilience of the residents in the North is a key part of our readiness for combat scenarios,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “We will continue to strengthen and protect the communities in the North, and put the issue of home front readiness at the top of the defense establishment’s priorities.”

As part of the Northern Shield program, tenders have been approved to build dozens of bomb shelters in homes that do not currently have a protective room in the three border communities. The expansion of the program comes after was kicked off several weeks ago with homes in the border village of  Yuval.

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In the coming weeks, the ministry said it plans to bring in an additional four northern communities: Avivim, Margaliot, Misgav Am and Manara.

Approved by the government back in 2018, Northern Shield will bring bomb shelters and protection rooms to homes in a total of 21 communities.

In November, the Israeli army’s Home Front Command, together with the Defense Ministry’s National Emergency Management Authority held a large-scale drill along the northern border to simulate responses to worst-case war scenarios — including the effects of thousands of rockets fired during a potential conflict with the Hezbollah terror group. At the time, the IDF said that 30 percent of the population lack functioning bomb shelters for protection.

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