Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Israelis Turn Bomb Shelter Into Underground Casino

Police find casino intact with cannabis plantation and tons of alcohol in Kiryat Gat bomb shelter

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 22nd, 2014 in News » Israel

A few weeks ago we learned of a wonderful initiative funded by a few Canadian Jewish philanthropists, who saw to it that kids in Southern Israeli bomb shelters – who have been spending the majority of their summer in these hot, and frankly, boring shelters – had toys to play with, things to entertain them, and just simple basic human interaction.

The volunteers sang songs, played with the children, and brought a ton of games and toys for the kids to enjoy, to their sincere appreciation and enjoyment.

Now, we’ve learned, a bomb shelter in Kiryat Gat has offered a more adult version of this scenario, albeit, also an illegal one, transforming a bomb shelter into an underground casino ripe with tons of weed, booze, and illegal gambling.

Really shows how different our interests are once we grow up.

Israeli police on Thursday discovered the bomb shelter – which is intended to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian rocket fire – bewildered after expecting to see a plain housing complex, but instead were greeted with a makeshift casino, which even included a mini cannabis plantation.

The shelter was found in Kiryat Gat, just 20 km northeast of the Palestinian enclave. Whereas usually one would only find bottles of water in a shelter, this one had gaming boards and chips, bottles of expensive alcohol, and a kilo of locally grown marijuana, according to video footage seen by the AFP.

“We are going through a difficult time, when millions of people are forced to live and sleep in these shelters,” said police spokesperson Luba Samri said.

“Imagine if there’s an alert and you find your local shelter has been turned into a casino and clandestine drugs lab.”

Obviously, the proprietor of the bomb shelter had envisioned a Las Vegas style resort as opposed to the usual, practical bomb shelter.

Police have since arrested a farmer in his fifties, who owns the land the bomb shelter was built on. The farmer told investigators that the equipment, however, belonged to his son

Underground casinos, as well as growing and consuming marijuana without a permit, is currently illegal in Israel.

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