Minister: Firefighting service given 13% of promised budget

June 27, 2012 10:25


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Israel's firefighting services have been given only NIS 40 million out of the NIS 300 million it was promised, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said Wednesday according to Army Radio.

Speaking at a Knesset Interior Ministry meeting, Aharonovich addressed Tuesday's massive fire that broke out in the surrounding enclaves of Jerusalem. "Yesterday we dealt with a fire that had the potential of reaching the scale of the Carmel Fire, and we dealt with it well," he said.

The Carmel fire, which erupted in December 2010, resulted in the deaths of 37 Prison Service cadets and officers, and caused widespread damage to land and property, totaling millions of shekels. An estimated 1.5 million trees were destroyed and more than 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of land was burned. Just last week, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss issued a scathing report criticizing various government ministries over their ill preparedness regarding the Carmel fire.

"We can not, following the [state comptroller's] report, allow ourselves to reach the situation we were in before the [Carmel] disaster," Aharonovich said.

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