Cabinet okays emergency authority

Authority will coordinate between rescue forces in the event of natural disaster or missile attack.

cabinet 224 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
cabinet 224 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Implementing a lesson learned from breakdowns in providing services to areas bombarded by missiles during the Second Lebanon War, the security cabinet on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to establish a national emergency authority to coordinate all home front activities during times of emergency. The authority's primary function will be to ensure that essential services continue in times of war or natural disaster. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said during the meeting that after a great deal of consideration, it had been decided that responsibility for the home front in times of emergency would lie with the Defense Ministry. Brig.-Gen. (Res) Ze'ev Tzuk-Ram will head the administration, and Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i will have overall responsibility for it. When the government discussed the idea of the authority in September, Vilna'i said its purpose would be to ensure that emergency response would not become a free-for-all. "Our intention is to prevent situations similar to those that took place during the Second Lebanon War," he said. The new authority is expected to be up and running by early 2008.