Firefighting failure is failure of all gov'ts, Yishai says

Interior minister states that even though he warned gov't in past fires could turn into natural disaster, "I'm not the one who makes the decisions."

December 8, 2010 16:13
1 minute read.
Yishai reacts to the state comptroller's report.

yishai press conference_311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Interior Minister Eli Yishai, speaking at a press conference Wednesday, said in response to a report blaming him for the the country's poor management of firefighting services, that "the failure has persisted throughout all governments over the years."

Yishai said that he warned the government in years past that fires could become a natural disaster, and that "I can express my opinion, but I'm not the one who decides."

Lindenstrauss: 'Fire readiness falls on Yishai's shoulders'
State Comptroller Report on fire services: ‘Very severe'

The comments came after State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss released a
scathing report on Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services.

“I warn the government and the prime minister regarding the continuing failure which lies on the doorstep of the Interior Ministry and the minister who leads it,” said Lindenstrauss in his introductory letter to the report. “It is necessary to immediately stop the foot-dragging regarding the fire services, and the handing-off of responsibility from one minister to another."

In the report, which compiled information from 2007-2009, the State Comptroller noted that Yishai had warned the government regarding the dire state of the fire and rescue services, but did not say that it absolved Yishai – or his predecessor, MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) – from responsibility.

Yishai, Lindenstrauss confirmed, had in fact warned Prime Minsiter Binaymin Netanyahu about the state of the fire services. As early as September 2009, Yishai warned Netanyahu of the state of the fire services, asking him for assistance, but the subject was only officially discussed in December of that year.

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