Olmert warns of civil aviation tragedy

Says Transportation Ministry must immediately adopt safety measures.

mofaz good 224 88  (photo credit: Defense Ministry )
mofaz good 224 88
(photo credit: Defense Ministry )
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday warned of an impending tragedy in civil aviation if the Transportation Ministry does not immediately adopt a string of measures to improve safety. "We are most disturbed by the blatant disregard for human life which is particularly prevalent in civil aviation. We are investing billions on these issues and I expect to hear today what the Transportation Ministry and the transportation minister plan to do to give an appropriate response to this phenomenon as soon as possible," said Olmert at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz admitted to crucial differences of opinion between him and the prime minister, particularly regarding the budget required to implement the measures. "There are disputes between us, I have never hidden them, including about the budget," Mofaz said, adding that the issue was vital "because it concerns saving lives." Mofaz did not rule out the dismissal of Israel Airports Authority Director-General Gabi Ofir. However, he stressed that "an orderly process of clarification and a hearing must be adhered to." Earlier, an associate close to Olmert lashed out at Mofaz for what they termed "disloyal behavior." They said Mofaz was acting as if he had already begun running for the Kadima leadership and, therefore, his position had gone down in the prime minister's estimation. It followed several recent incidents, including Mofaz deserting the cabinet meeting last week, and numerous remarks made during political conferences and in interviews to several media outlets.