The Knesset plenum voted Monday evening to approve the establishment of the Ministry of Homefront Defense. Minister Matan Vilnai is the new Minister of Homefront Defense.
The Cabinet decided Sunday to transfer responsibility for the National Emergency Authority from the Minister of Defense to the Minister for Homefront Protection.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Minister Vilnai decided to establish a committee of experts to define the purview of the new ministry as well as its goals and the relationship between it and other bodies in the defense establishment, government and local government.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ze'ev Livneh will head the committee and its members will include Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ami Sagis, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Prof. Shuki Shemer, Attorney Tzviya Gross, Engineer Tzvi Tzilker and Col. (res.) Itamar Ya'ar.
The committee is expected to present its findings to the ministers by July 1. In the meantime, the Homefront Defense Ministry will depend on the Ministry of Defense both functionally and administratively.
Minister Vilnai said that the establishment of the new ministry was "a new stage in the improvement of Israel's readiness for an emergency. Protecting Israel's civilian front is a very complex subject that directly influences all of our lives. The Israeli homefront is made up of millions of people and thousands of bodies and organizations that need to know how to prepare for a time of emergency and how to act when such a situation occurs, whether it be a military confrontation or a natural disaster. The Ministry of Homefront Defense will guide, lead and coordinate all of the bodies that go into action on the civilian front in a time of emergency, and will work to improve their preparedness for emergency..."