Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the government’s performance during the weekend’s massive storm at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, amid rising criticism of the country’s lack of preparedness.
“Israel is coping very well with the great storm,” Netanyahu said at the meeting, which was delayed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow the ministers to come to Jerusalem.
“I believe that we performed better than developed nations that deal with these types of storms more often.”
The cabinet meeting focused on the weather issues, the damage and assessments of what to expect in the coming days.
“We are first of all pleased that we achieved the central aim – saving lives,” the prime minister said. “This is what has guided us from start to finish and will continue to guide us, because it is still not over. There is the problem of road safety, roads that will likely freeze over tonight, and we must tell the citizens to be careful – to limit their going out, and to drive very carefully.”
Netanyahu, who visited the Jerusalem Police District’s situation room earlier in the day, praised the country’s emergency service providers. He said he met earlier in the day with one policeman who carried an elderly man on his back to safety, and another policeman who led a pregnant woman to the delivery room.
“They represent the many thousands in the government agencies, and among the public, who are working for the fourth night in a row in the face of this great storm,” he said. “Thanks to the determination of the security and rescue forces, and to the cooperation among citizens, many lives have been saved.”
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