Israel Political Brief July 16, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Achieves Agreement on Establishing a National Fire and Rescue Service

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Agreement Achieved on Establishing a National Fire and Rescue Service

Source: PMO, 7-16-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, today, presented the reform of the fire service. In the framework of the reform, a national fire and rescue service will be established to replace the local fire services in the local authorities; the fire service budget will also be increased to NIS 1 billion. The budgetary outline for implementing the reform was formulated by Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker; the base for the fire service budget, which currently stands at NIS 700 million, will be increased by NIS 300 million over the next six years, NIS 100 million of which will be allocated in 2013.

The Knesset Interior Committee is expected to approve the reform today ahead of its second and third readings in the plenum next Monday.

Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Ministers Steinitz and Aharonovitch, Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen, Knesset Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni, PMO Director-General Locker and Fire and Rescue Service Commissioner Shahar Ayalon for the joint effort that led to the formulation of the reform. “I would like to thank the firefighters and their commander, Shahar Ayalon, who battle amidst the heat on the fireline. This war against fires is effective and we see the results. For the first time in many years, we are submitting a national fire service with one commander and two arms – the ground arm, which has been upgraded, and the aerial arm, which has been established. Part of these changes have already taken effect and what we have seen until today, that over 200 fires have been extinguished since the Carmel wildfire, without developing into massive fires, is the result of the upgrade that has been done,” the Prime Minister said.

Public Security Minister Aharonovitch said, “We are witnessing an historic day and are in a completely different place than where we were one-and-a-half years ago. There is a great change here. We saw the results yesterday as well, with the dramatic change effected by the planes and their many sorties. We have entered a new era and I hope that next Monday, we will have a law that we can all welcome.”

Finance Minister Steinitz said, “The State of Israel has been waiting for this reform for 20 years, a reform that puts in place a single national fire service, with one command, with the ability to move efficiently from place to place. The reform also needs financing and the budget that we are talking about today will go directly toward financing the reform and promises a genuine improvement in the fire service.”

Fire and Rescue Service Commissioner Ayalon said, “This is an historic process and an historic moment. Now, for me, the work on building a fire service begins. I would like to thank everyone for the expedited work on the reform.”

Israel Political Brief July 16, 2012: Israel to Subsidize 500 West Bank Housing Units

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Report: Israel to subsidize 500 West Bank housing units

Source: JTA, 7-16-12

The Israeli government reportedly agreed to subsidize the construction of 500 new living units in the West Bank, despite saying it would not provide incentives to the settlements….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 16, 2012: Obama Says He Has failed to Advance Mideast Peace ‘The Way I Wanted’ in Interview

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Obama says he has failed to advance Mideast peace ‘the way I wanted’

Source: JTA, 7-16-12

President Obama said in an interview that he has failed to advance the Middle East peace process “the way I wanted.”…READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief July 16, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Statements at Meeting on Egypt, Peace Process

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Statement by PM Netanyahu and United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Source: PMO, 7-16-12

Photo by GPO

PM Benjamin Netanyahu: I want to welcome you, Secretary of State Clinton – Hillary – to Jerusalem once again, and we were just discussing how turbulent and how swiftly changing the world is, in our part of the world in particular.  So I look forward to hearing of your impressions from Egypt.  That has been an anchor of peace and maintaining the peace treaty between us, I think, is something that is uppermost in both our minds, and I appreciate the efforts that you’re investing to this end.

We’re going to talk about the Palestinians.  That is also an anchor of peace, and we have to invest every effort to maintain it, to keep the tranquility and see if we can move the process forward, and third: we have our common effort to make sure that Iran not achieve its ambition of developing nuclear weapons.  So that’s a small agenda for this plate and for this dinner and I look forward to discussing all these issues with you.  Welcome to Jerusalem.

Sec. of State Clinton:  Thank you so much, Bibi.  Well, Prime Minister Bibi, it is wonderful to be back in Jerusalem to have a chance to meet with your Government and now for us to have a working dinner to discuss the broad range of issues that you just mentioned.  You’re absolutely right; we’re living in a time of unprecedented change with a lot of challenges for us both, and we will continue to consult closely as we have on an almost daily basis between our two governments to chart the best way forward for peace and stability, for Israel, the United States, the region and the world, and we’re all delighted to be here with you.  Thank you.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu:  Thank you.

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