"I will demand the establishment of a ministry that will be in charge of natural disasters," announced the Knesset's State Control Committee chairman Yesh Atid MK Mickey Levy on Tuesday evening.
He continued: "Of all the new ministries being established, they could not find a single minister to handle preparing for an earthquake?" This comment was made in reference to the fact that the current government was formed on the condition of adding or expanding several ministerial positions.
Widespread ministerial concern
Levy cited relevant data points from various government ministries.
According to the Education Ministry, 1,600 schools are at risk of collapse in the event of an earthquake and only 87 have been reinforced.
The National Emergency Authority reported that its budget had been cut from NIS 15 million to NIS 6 million.
In a similar vein, the Housing Ministry reported that its current budget only allows them to deal with 200 out of 1,871 buildings at risk of collapse.
Public hospital renovations will cost an additional NIS 200 million, the Health Ministry reported. What is more, reinforcing all medical institutions in Israel will require hundreds of millions. Even billions.
In preparation for the government's upcoming earthquake preparedness meeting the following week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a discussion on Tuesday focused on maintaining the safety of Israeli municipalities at high risk of being affected by an earthquake.