The Knesset State Control Committee started meeting, Tuesday morning, to discuss the State Comptroller's report on the Carmel Ridge Fire of 2010, which took 44 lives and destroyed thousands of dunams of forest and other property. Following a moment of silence for the victims, committee chairman Uri Ariel said the tragedy could have been prevented if someone had woken up and taken responsibility, and that the report revealed a harsh reality, struggles between government offices and administrative blindness.
Noting the precedent of the comptroller in assigning blame to ministers, Ariel said all the ministers named in the report should have been in attendance at the hearing, criticizing Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz for not attending. Responding to the absence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he said the Prime Minister's Office will host an August 2nd meeting on the subject. Monday evening, Netanyau, Steinitz and Public Safety Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch presented a program of fire service reform which includes a national fire and rescue system to replace the local one, funded by a billion-shekel budget.