Poll: Most Residents of North Stayed in North During Lebanon War

The social survey found that more poor people than affluent people stayed in the north during the war.

A survey showed that 86 percent of residents in the north stayed in their homes throughout most of the war this past summer, according to a survey by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel.

Eight-five percent of men surveyed never left their home during the war, while an additional 9 percent left for a few days, despite the war-time perception that most most residents had fled south.

Some 66 percent of women never left their towns during the war, while an additional 13 percent only left for a short period of time.

The survey also revealed that about 90 percent of Arabs remained in their homes, compared to 66 percent of Jews.

Differences among income levels also appeared in the survey, which indicated that 77 percent of low-income earners stayed in their towns, while 60 percent of those with high incomes stayed behind.

In areas where residents were told to stay in underground shelters, 63 percent remained, while 79 percent of residents who were urged to find protective spaces stayed in their homes.

About 48 percent of residents who were required to stay in shelters reported severe financial hardship caused by the war, compared with only 28 percent of residents who were told to find protected spaces.

The Taub center said that contrary to the widespread notion that social issues have taken a backseat to political and security issues, the public has indicated support for shuffling the political agenda to address social issues. Eight-eight percent of those polled favored increasing the social budgets and 76 percent opposed cutting back on social budgets to fund the war.

About 40 percent of those polled believed reducing poverty and social gaps should stand at the top of the agenda, compared with 35 percent who believed security issues should be the top priority.

70% of property damage claims settledAccording to Jacky Matza, Director General of the Israel Tax Authority, said that about 70 percent of the north's residents whose property was damaged during the Lebanon war have already received full compensation.

Matza said that out of the 21,500 claims filed so far for direct damage due to the war, about 15,000 have already been settles.

The compensations already paid for direct damages to property amount in NIS 76 million.

About 45,000 compensation claims for indirect damages to businesses and services in the month of July have been filed thus far.