ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF:
Source: JTA, 1-2-11
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to erect a memorial to those killed in the Carmel forest fire. Netanyahu made the pledge at Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting, where the government approved $4.2 million to fix and improve the infrastructure destroyed in the fire. According to the plan, the rehabilitation will include structures that were burnt; damage to sewage, water, electricity and communications infrastructures; paving access roads; repairing gardening infrastructure; building playgrounds; cutting trees and general clean-up; and dealing with highways and traffic arrangements.
“This week we will mark 30 days since the major disaster in the Carmel area,” Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting. “We will hold a state memorial ceremony at Beit Oren, very close to the site of the disaster. There, within one year, we will erect a memorial to those who perished, a monument to their heroism and their sacrifice.”
Netanyahu on Sunday also submitted a memorandum for a decision next week on the establishment of a national fire authority, an aerial firefighting force and an authority for dealing with earthquakes, and budgets for all three.