Tel Aviv Might Not Be So Expensive After All

Last year, the Economist gave Israel’s second city the dubious distinction of being the most expensive on earth. Yes, admits Dror Marmor, property values are very high, and everyday items tend to cost more—but such figures don’t tell the whole story:

Tel Avivians love to talk about the “vibe” that keeps them in the city, but it’s important to talk about cold economic considerations as well, about the fact that they receive from wealthy, self-satisfied Tel Aviv more than they could receive from any other city in the country. Were they to move to a place like [the remote towns of] Harish or Rosh Ha’ayin, they would certainly save thousands of shekels on rent, but the savings would very quickly be spent fuel and vehicle wear and tear (and that’s without pricing the time lost on the roads, which can never be retrieved).

And indeed, according to the dry data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Tel Aviv is one of the most worthwhile cities for residents, in cost versus return. Average arnona [a municipal property tax paid by renters and owners alike] per person in the city is NIS 1,951 [$594] a year, which compares with NIS 2,131 [$649] per person in neighboring Givatayim and an average of NIS 1,235 [$376] for all Israel’s cities. What tips the balance in Tel Aviv’s favor is undoubtedly municipal spending per person. In Tel Aviv it is NIS 11,981 [$3,650] annually, the highest in the country. The national average is NIS 7,647 [$2,330], and the figure for Givatayim is NIS 7,061 [$2,151]. In other words, every person in Tel Aviv receives almost NIS 10,000 net a year from the municipality.

Read more at Globes

More about: Israeli economy, Tel Aviv

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security