Eilat mayor says southern city preparing plans to set up tent city for evacuees

Aerial view of the southern Israeli city of Eilat, October 21, 2015. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Aerial view of the southern Israeli city of Eilat, October 21, 2015. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

The southern city of Eilat is preparing to potentially set up a tent city to house more of the tens of thousands of people who have left their homes in the north and south of the country since the outbreak of the war.

“Eilat has doubled in size. More than 60,000 evacuees have arrived,” Eilat Mayor Eli Lankri tells Channel 12.

“Since the beginning of the war, they have been staying in our 12,000 hotel rooms, in special hospitality centers that we opened, in hostels, and in almost 4,000 Airbnb rooms in the city,” he says.

“The hotels are fully booked and we are preparing for the next step, to cater for the tens of thousands more who will apparently make their way to Eilat,” he says.

“We are looking at all kinds of options, including the establishment of a tent city. We are ready with the plans we prepared last week and will present them to the decision makers,” he says.

“We are clearing four different areas in the city and we are following the situation closely,” he says.

More than 200,000 Israelis are internally displaced, according to a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

Half of that number were ordered to evacuated from 105 communities near the Gaza and Lebanon borders, while half left areas close to the front of their own volition, the government says.

Most Popular