ICEJ stands with Israel in times of crisis. A vital contribution over the past decade or so has been the placement of dozens of mobile bomb shelters in communities along the Gaza border. The border communities have been repeatedly battered by Hamas rocket barrages from Gaza. ICEJ has donated these important bomb shelters to schools, day-care centres, medical clinics, youth centres, community halls, university campuses, factories, and other public places. The shelters enable essential facilities to stay open even during times of crisis because of having adequate protection from missiles.
Meanwhile, there has been growing concern about the increasing threat from Hezbollah in the North and the lack of public shelters. In 2021 a report warned that 2.6 million residents of northern Israel do not have access to functional bomb shelters. Thus, the Christian Embassy is increasing its efforts to assist towns in the northern Galilee and Haifa regions.
The need for more shelters is most acute in the towns along the northern border with Lebanon. This area is prone to shorter-range rockets that cannot be stopped by the Iron Dome system. Therefore, this hilly, forested area which contains a diverse mosaic of Jewish, Arab and Druze towns is desperately looking for funding to provide better protection. The port city of Haifa is home to strategic facilities – such as oil storage tanks and chemical plants – targets of future conflict and is of concern to the farming villages to the east of Haifa. This area is another one in which ICEJ wants to make a difference in the security of Israel’s citizens.
“These mobile bomb shelters truly save lives and give Israeli families the peace of mind they need to continue their daily lives under the constant threat of rocket attacks,” said ICEJ President Dr Jürgen Bühler. “We now want to focus more on the need for additional bomb shelters to protect civilians in the North. In selecting where to place these shelters, we also are looking to meet other social needs in these community and to promote Jewish-Arab coexistence.”