The coalition blocked efforts by the opposition on Wednesday to initiate a
parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate the government’s handling of
the snowstorm that wreaked havoc two weeks ago.
Opposition leader Isaac
Herzog asked the Knesset to approve the probe because the government decided not
to open its own investigation. But Herzog lost the vote, 37 to 31.
government system failed in every aspect of its handling of the storm,” Herzog
told the Knesset. “We are not looking to make heads roll but to fix the
Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan responded by mocking the
opposition of Herzog and other MKs to a commission of inquiry on the Carmel Fire
three years ago.
He said that since then Israel had devoted resources to
handling potential emergencies.
“We are far from being ready for any
emergency but we have come a long way since Operation Pillar of Defense,” Erdan
said. “I’m sure many people suffered from the snow and the lack of electricity.
But it was wrong of Herzog to make it look like things are worse here than in
But MKs did decide to evaluate aspects of the
government’s handling of the snowstorm in subcommittees of the Knesset Interior
Each subcommittee will write a report that will be presented
to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu next month.
Shas MK Eli Yishai, who
heads a subcommittee on home front preparedness, said the storm proved that the
various governmental authorities and ministries still do not coordinate their
efforts enough to be effective.
At a joint meeting of the Knesset
Interior and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees Wednesday, Erdan said his
ministry should be given more responsibilities over the country’s home
Erdan threatened to quit if his ministry is not given such
responsibilities by the end of the month.