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Homefront Ministry Director Resigns

The ministry 'does not have a leg to stand on,' fumes Major General (res.) Dan Ronen.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/22/2014, 4:04 PM

Home Front Command emergency drill
Home Front Command emergency drill
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Director of the Home Front Ministry, Major General (res.) Dan Ronen, tendered his resignation Tuesday.

Ronen explained that the ministry does not have the necessary tools to successfully discharge its responsibilities. “The ministry was founded unprofessionally in 2011 without a leg to stand on,” he fumed in his letter of resignation.

There has been extensive bickering between the Defense Ministry and the Home Front Ministry over the responsibility and authority to be granted to the latter. Home Front Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud-Beytenu) has demanded that he be put in charge of the IDF's Home Front Command and that this authority be taken away from the Ministry of Defense. The Defense Ministry has refused to transfer various matters pertaining to civilian defense to the Home Front Defense Ministry’s auspices, including the authority to set policy on bomb shelters.

Erdan had accused Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon of deliberately withholding funds in an ongoing dispute between the two.

Erdan said that the prime minister has given instructions that place responsibility for what he called “the first axis” – Magen David Adom emergency services and firefighters – on the Minister for Public Security. “The second axis is the civilian one, which monitors the preparedness of the different elements required during emergencies and the contact with local authorities. This axis is under the Home Front Ministry.”

Minister Yaalon said in January, however, that “The Ministry of Home Front Defense is a waste of public money and nothing good will come out of it.”

"Regarding the argument about home front defense and the Home Front Command, I'm not avoiding responsibility," Ya’alon said. "The responsibility is mine. Across the board. We can’t split the issue and establish a Ministry to give orders to the Home Front Command, and the Chief of Staff will give orders to the Home Front Command, and I will give them orders. I’ve never heard of such a thing.”