Tamir to Barak: Declare Sderot schools safe

Vilna'i agrees, "as long as you promise no school violence and Mofaz promises no road accidents."

crash 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
crash 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Education Minsiter Yuli Tamir asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak at Sunday's cabinet meeting to sign a declaration that the schools in Sderot are not in danger, Army Radio reported. Deputy Defense Minsiter Matan Vilna'i, who was standing in for Barak at the meeting, responded that "if you promise that there won't be any violence in schools, and if Transportation Minister [Shaul Mofaz] promises there won't be any more road accidents, we will petition for your request." Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On called on teachers not to shut down middle and high schools, as cabinet was presented with the details of elementary school reforms. According to Bar-On, the secondary school teachers should show national responsibility and return to the negotiating table immediately. Also at the meeting, Lior Carmel, head of the National Road Safety Authority (NARS), presented a plan to reduce accidents in the Arab sector. The initiative includes improving infrastructure and setting up play facilities for children in order to keep them away from the main roads. According to Carmel, the number of accidents in the Arab sector in Israel is identical to that of Arab countries. In contrast, the Jewish road accident statistics match those of Western countries. Earlier in the meeting, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared that the government would not cut the NRSA's budget, and that it would remain at NIS 550 million, as Mofaz was promised. The prime minister stressed at the meeting that "the situation on the roads is very worrying, and the government will put all its energy into dealing with it." The war on traffic accidents was the dominant issue on the cabinet's agenda after a chain of deadly crashes left six dead in northern Israel over the weekend and 40 dead since the beginning of August. On Friday night, four members of the same Netanya family were killed in a single-vehicle collision; police believe that speed was a key factor. In another accident, a car slammed in to an oncoming truck Saturday evening, and the car's driver later died of his injuries. In the early morning hours of Friday, one woman was killed and another two people were seriously injured in a single-vehicle collision near Carmiel when the car in which they were riding spun out of control on a tight curve and overturned.