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Israelis denied shelter in luxury apartment building

It seems as if it happened in a previous geological era, but in fact it was only three years ago that hundreds of thousands of Israelis filled the streets to demand greater social and economic justice– a reminder that the trend toward rising inequality in wealth and income has affected Israel as much as any country.

Now as millions of Israelis of all classes face the daily threat of death by rockets from Gaza, there is this disturbing report, which I can only hope is untypical:

Residents of the Givat Amal Bet neighborhood in Tel Aviv attempt to enter the luxury Yoo building for shelter as a siren rings out, but security guards bar them from entering, Channel 2 reports.

Among those approaching the building and requesting entry are a man and his baby, and they too are turned away.

The area is said to lack local fortified areas, leaving many residents without shelter.

“We’re 600 residents without shelter,” resident Bruriah Ben-David tells Globes.

After approaching the IDF Home Front Command, Givat Amal Bet residents are instructed to run to a school in the neighborhood — a 15-minute walk away.

Apartments at the Yoo building can cost as much as $2.5 million, beyond the range of most Israelis.

One can only hope that the security guards acted without the knowledge or consent of the residents, that the residents are ashamed of what happened, and that the Home Front Command will demand that non-residents be allowed to shelter in the building.

Update: One point I intended to make in the original post, but forgot: it’s a credit to Israel that its media are free to report on things like this.

Further update: Here’s the original report in Hebrew from the Israeli business daily Globes.