Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Steinitz should have found solutions for the budget problems, report says
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Photo: Hagai Dekel
Report pins operational failures on Yishai
Photo: Hagai Dekel
Comptroller: Carmel fire is 'a parable'
Gil Yohanan

Families turn to High Court to have Yishai, Steinitz fired

Even-Chen and Klein families, who lost their daughter Topaz in the Carmel Fire, to petition for miniters' dismissal. Attorney Moshe Shahal: If Netanyahu doesn't understand meaning of 'special responsibility,' court will need to make it clear

Attorney Moshe Shahal, who formerly served as internal security minister, will be representing a number of families of victims of the Carmel Fire in their High Court petition to have Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz fired.


Both Yishai and Steinitz were singled out in Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss' report on the Carmel disaster as bearing "special responsibility."


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Shahal is representing the Even-Chen and Klein families, who lost their daughter Topaz. "If the prime minister doesn't understand very soon the meaning of 'special responsibility,' the court will have to make it clear," he told Ynet after Lindenstrauss' findings were published.


"I am doing this gratis, out of dedication," the former minister said, adding that he had a personal relationship with Topaz' father, Israel Police Commander (ret.) Zeev Even Chen. "When a friend is in trouble, you stand by him, and I have made myself available for the last year and a half, and helped him along in a time full of uncertainty."


The 2010 Carmel Fire. (Photo: Fire and Rescue Services) 


December 2010's blaze raged for four days and nights, claimed 44 lives, forced the evacuation of nearly 17,000 people and consumed 8,650 acres of land and natural forest.


"The Carmel disaster is a parable to a mass catastrophe that may some day befall Israel, God forbid," the report – titled "The Carmel Fire: Failures, Inadequacies and Conclusions" – said.


Lindenstrauss found that the Interior Ministry, under Yishai, was responsible for the majority of the operational failures; adding that while Yishai warned of the Fire and Rescue Service's dismal state and demanded additional budgets – that was all he focused on, paying little attention to the FRS' training needs and emergency readiness.


Steinitz, Lindenstrauss wrote, should have used his senior position in the Cabinet to devise solutions to the budgetary issues, but instead opted to do little beyond demand a reform in FRS.


The report concluded that Steinitz "Should have found alternative sources for these critical funds, or at the very least outlined how the Interior Ministry should reallocate existing funds.



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פרסום ראשון: 06.20.12, 22:48
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