Carmel blaze relatives insist on state probe

Relatives of Prison Service cadets who died in wildfire protest a month after Knesset committee votes against establishment of state inquiry.

Man inspects damage of fire at Yemin Orde 311 (photo credit: DANIEL COHEN)
Man inspects damage of fire at Yemin Orde 311
(photo credit: DANIEL COHEN)
Carrying signs reading “Our sons’ blood was not in vain” and “A commission of inquiry now!” relatives of Prisons Service cadets who died in the Carmel wildfire held a protest on Thursday, calling for the government to launch a full-fledged state commission of inquiry.
The demonstration outside Ayalon Prison in Ramle took place while the Prisons Service cadets’ course in which many of the victims had been training was holding a graduation ceremony inside. The media and the families of the fallen cadets weren’t invited.
Forty-two of the forty-four fatalities of the blaze occurred on December 2, the first day of the fire, when the cadets who were going in a bus to evacuate inmates from Damun Prison were caught up in the blaze and burned alive.
On December 20, the Knesset’s State Control Committee voted 8-3 against the establishment of an official state inquiry. The three votes in favor came from the three Kadima MKs on the panel – Yoel Hasson, Robert Tibayev and Orit Zuaretz.
A week earlier, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked for a state comptroller’s probe into the incidents surrounding the blaze.