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As Israel's war in Gaza heats up, bomb shelters will become critical line of defense

Two Christian organizations are helping to protect Israel now and in the future

Israelis outside a public bomb shelter in the southern city of Ashkelon, October 12, 2023. (Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Following the surprise invasion of Hamas terrorists from Gaza into southern Israel on Oct. 7, and the accompanying rocket attacks from both Hamas and Hezbollah, Israel is preparing for the possibility of a war on two fronts.

In such a multi-front war, experts say that more than 1,000 projectiles could be fired into Israel every day from each front.

With almost 30% of Israel's population living in proximity to the northern and southern borders, and not having access to adequate bomb shelters, the risk of losing precious lives is very high.

In recent years, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) began providing funding for bomb shelters to give families without adequate shelter a safe place to flee.

ICEJ Vice-President David Parsons recently spoke with ALL ISRAEL NEWS about the organization's bomb shelter initiative.

Parsons said that ICEJ’s involvement started after the Second Lebanon War in 2006, when Hezbollah began shooting rockets into Israel’s northern territory.

The ICEJ had already been involved in providing aid to needy families in Israel, particularly Holocaust survivors and new immigrants.

Many new immigrants had settled in Israel’s south. When Hamas began launching rockets into the southern communities after its takeover of Gaza in 2007, Israeli authorities realized the communities were lacking bomb shelters for their residents.

The ICEJ began looking for solutions and heard about an American Jewish couple who had made aliyah, immigrated to Israel, and were building resort cabins in the north when the Second Lebanon War broke out.

“All their workers had to evacuate because they didn’t have bomb shelters,” Parsons explained.

The couple decided to pivot from producing resort cabins to making bomb shelters.

In cooperation with Israel Defense Forces, the couple designed portable bomb shelters that could be transported by truck to communities in need.

ICEJ partnered with this couple, buying shelters and placing them in communities that needed them.

“We started putting shelters in Sderot, which was the worst hit in attacks from the Gaza Strip,” Parsons said.

ICEJ Bomb shelter being placed at school. Credit: ICEJ

At present, ICEJ has provided over 200 portable bomb shelters to communities in need.

About 140 of these are in the south, and the rest have been placed in northern communities.

The ICEJ also began to refurbish existing bomb shelters in the north, adding beds, air conditioning units and filtration systems.

ICEJ Bomb Shelter at School Credit: ICEJ

Some 53 shelters have been refurbished in the town of Shlomi, and just last week, the organization committed to refurbishing another 20. Since April, the ICEJ has built 12 new shelters in Shlomi.

ICEJ is not the only Evangelical Christian organization working to provide bomb shelters for communities at risk of attack.

Frontier Alliance International recently launched a bomb shelter campaign of its own.

FAI Founder and President Dalton Thomas spoke with ALL ISRAEL NEWS about their bomb shelter campaign, and why they have chosen to focus exclusively on the north.

FAI began working with the IDF as a part of Operation Good Neighbor, an initiative to bring medical teams to treat Syrian refugees just across the northern border from Israel.

As a result of that cooperation, FAI decided to seek additional ways to stand with Israel.

When they found out about the need for adequate bomb shelters, especially shelters capable of supporting people for several days, the got involved.

About two years ago, FAI started working with the city of Kiryat Shmona on Israel’s northernmost border. Since the 1960s, more rockets have hit Kiryat Shmona than any other Israeli city, according to a case study by Human Rights Watch.

The FAI bomb shelter campaign grew out of the desire to prepare communities like Kiryat Shmona for a coming war against the Iranian terror proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon, just across Israel's northern border.

FAI's team began refurbishing and rehabilitating bomb shelters in low-income areas of Kiryat Shmona and along the border with Lebanon.

“Rehabilitating these bomb shelters is a very meaningful way of saving life and also expressing love and solidarity to the local communities,” Thomas said.

Bomb shelters also help the IDF.

“It’s a security threat if there’s nowhere for civilians to go when the bombing starts,” Thomas explained, “which poses a massive organizational and logistical problem for the army.”

“In the international community, people are always aware of Gaza because it’s always in the news,” Thomas explained, “but the north is not in the news, and I think that adds to the pressure that the municipality leaders are feeling.”

FAI has already helped rehabilitate some 70 bomb shelters, but there are hundreds of shelters that still need rehabilitation across the north.

“Hamas, for all the carnage it did [on Oct. 7], is very minuscule compared to what Hezbollah can do, in terms of their battery of strategic weapons, their capacity, their training and their battle experience,” Thomas said.

“[Hassan] Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, has repeatedly said that their intention is to overwhelm the Iron Dome and then engage in a ground campaign,” Thomas said.

Because of that threat, FAI decided to bless and support Israel by helping protect the communities in the north.

You can contribute to either of these programs by clicking on the links below:

ICEJ - Bomb Shelters

FAI's Israel Fund (

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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