Bereaved families: Tell us the truth about Carmel disaster

“I hadn’t yet buried my husband before Netanyahu buried this investigation,” says Einav Barami, wife of Yaron Barami, who was killed in the fire.

Carmel fire 311 (photo credit: Israel Police)
Carmel fire 311
(photo credit: Israel Police)
Just a few hundred meters away from young people demonstrating angrily over the soaring cost of housing, 10 family members of victims of the Carmel fire gathered outside of the Knesset on Monday morning to give voice to their pain and demand answers into the tragedy that took 44 lives in the December fire.
“I hadn’t yet buried my husband before [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] buried this investigation,” said Einav Barami, wife of Yaron Barami, who was killed in the fire. Like other family members, she is demanding an independent investigation into the tragedy and the chain of events, and is not satisfied with the lack of progress in the state comptroller’s investigation.
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“I have two kids at home, I need the truth so I know what to tell them when they grow up,” she said. “They burned him alive, and they burned 44 families as well.”
For the families left behind, an independent investigation would answer some of the questions that plague them every day and give them a partial sense of closure, at least removing the uncertainty of their loved ones’ last moments.
“I don’t know what happened to my son, some say he was found outside of the bus, some say he was found inside,” said another family member, who added that he wanted to know why police involved in the tragedy were getting promotions and commendations before the investigation had finished.
Gathered behind their signs asking for independent investigations, the family members repeatedly hashed over the details that they knew of the disaster, asking heartbreaking questions of ‘what if?’ What if the driver had opened the doors to the bus? What if the police had told the bus to drive instead of staying still? What if their commander hadn’t been ahead of them in a separate car? “The state comptroller is doing nothing, it’s been eight months and nothing’s happened,” said Yehoshua Peretz, father of Ronen Peretz, one of the Prison Services guards on the bus. “My wife and I can’t sleep at night, I have trouble leaving the house, my wife can’t work,” said Peretz, tears running down his face.
“We want to know what happened,” Peretz said. “No one is saying anything, they’re leaving us hanging in the air, they haven’t even put a single stone to memorialize the area,” he said.
“Without the truth, I can’t function,” said Barami, who added that she had to give her two-month-old daughter to her mother because she couldn’t take care of the baby. “The truth is the minimum I need to get from the government, and even that I can’t get.”