311_zaka in fire aftermath.
(photo credit: Aharon Baruch Leibovitch)
The families of two firefighters, a fire service volunteer and a bus driver who
died two weeks ago as they tried to rescue members of the Prisons Service
trapped on a burning bus as the Carmel Forest fire raged, will be recognized as
bereaved families under the 1950 Families of Fallen Soldiers Law, the cabinet
decided on Sunday.
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A statement released by the cabinet said that Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had pushed for the move because “these were people
acting to save the lives of Prisons Service personnel who
According to the decision, the families of bus driver David
Navon, Fire Service volunteer Elad Riven and firefighters Uri Semandayev and
Danny Hayat will be recognized as bereaved families. This will entitle the
families to receive a range of state benefits and financial
“Danny [Hayat] courageously fought the fire, in a heroic attempt
to save the Prisons Service bus,” Netanyahu said in a statement about the 44th
victim of the devastating fire two weeks ago. “My wife and I visited him in
We met his wife, Hofit, who is due to give birth, and
discovered a strong, united and brave family.
Our hearts are with
The prime minister added: “The firefighters selflessly fought the
Carmel wildfire in order to take control of the flames and to try and rescue the
Prisons Service bus, which was caught in the heart of the
Thirty-seven Prisons Service personnel, their bus driver, three
police officers, two firefighters and a teenage Fire Service volunteer died in
the four-day blaze, which was the worst in the state’s 63 years. The fire, which
police suspect was started by some careless youths, destroyed around 35,000
dunams (3,500 hectares) of natural woodlands and planted forest and the cost of
rehabilitation is estimated at hundreds of millions of
Immediately after the fire, Netanyahu promised provide emergency
compensation to families whose homes were destroyed in the blaze, including NIS
2,500 per person to buy necessities, such as clothes and school books.