Tel Aviv Bars Homeless From Bomb Shelters

Officials Cite Importance of Keeping Shelters Clean and Orderly

by Jason Ditz, November 20, 2012

The Tel Aviv city government is coming under criticism tonight from aid groups on news that they have posted guards outside of the city’s bomb shelters to prevent homeless people from entering.

“It is sad that at a time all Israeli citizens are seeking shelter, there are those who think it is right to spend public money on separating between those who can enter the shelters and those who can’t,” noted Omer Shatz, attorney for the We Are Refugees nonprofit.

Technically speaking, the shelters are open to all during bomb alerts, but incoming rockets haven’t always come with such an alert, and officials complain that the homeless are sleeping in the shelters, saying keeping them out is important to keeping the shelters “clean” in the event they are needed.

Reports from the aid groups say that guards are only present in neighborhoods with a significant homeless population, and there doesn’t seem to be any effort to keep Israelis out of the shelters in the rest of the city.

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