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Jerusalem, Dec 12 (KATAKAMI / PRIME MINISTER’s OFFICE) — Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:
I instructed Government ministries to unite their forces and act so that dealing with those who were hurt in the fire, and the infrastructures, will be detailed, efficient, focused and – above all – quick, in order for normal life to be restored as quickly as possible.
The team of director-generals chaired by Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai has already toured the area, met with residents and begun the work of rehabilitation. We allocated NIS 4.5 million, for preliminary rehabilitation, to the Carmel Coast Regional Council and NIS 3 million to Isfiya.
Today, another NIS 1 million will be transferred to Daliyat Al-Carmel and another NIS 2 million to Tirat Hacarmel. The families that were left without a roof over their heads have already received NIS 2,500 per person in assistance, i.e. an average of NIS 10,000 per family. This is to help them with basic needs.
Additionally, the Social Welfare and Social Services Ministry is allocating almost NIS 500,000 in preliminary assistance for clothes and medicines. The Construction and Housing Ministry is preparing a detailed plan to repair the physical damages to infrastructures and buildings.
The Transportation Ministry is already carrying out work in the field to repair transportation infrastructures. The Environmental Protection Ministry will submit – by the end of the month – a plan to restore the animals and plants of the Carmel forests. The other ministries, each in its own field, have also joined in, responsibly and with full force.
In order to hasten the work and reduce bureaucracy, today I am submitting a draft proposal to cancel the need for tenders in the rehabilitation work. This is one of the greatest things that could cost us in the months ahead and, therefore, today we will cancel the need for tenders as part of the Government’s special effort to hasten the rehabilitation work.
By the end of this month, or at our meeting next Sunday, or by the one after that, but no later, we will submit to the Cabinet a draft decision on a national fire authority, and this is in addition to the decision that we have already made to allocate an additional NIS 100 million to the Fire and Rescue Service in order to deal with shortages. The decision, which we made before the fire, followed the urgent request of Interior Minister Eli Yishai.
We are currently carrying out several important missions: Rehabilitating the communities, dealing with the evacuees, rehabilitating the Carmel forests, and quickly implementing the two main lessons – establishing a national fire and an aerial firefighting force. We are urgently advancing these two issues and decisions in their regard will be submitted forthwith.” (*)