Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service will receive an additional NIS 300 million in 2011, Interior Minister Eli Yishai agreed with the Finance Ministry today. The two ministries are currently discussing further criteria necessary to decide upon the specific sum the fire service will receive in 2011.Following the Carmel fire disaster, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu promised to allocate more funds for the firefighting services within ten days.
Regardless, when the Knesset Finance Committee approved the 2011-12 budget for its second and third reading on Wednesday, the budget did not include extra funds for the fire services.
Both the delay and the failure to cite a specific sum outraged the opposition on the committee, leading Kadima MKs Yoel Hasson and Majali Wahabi to urge their fellow lawmakers not to approve the budget until extra funding for the fire services was included.
Later on Wednesday, Kadima issued a statement accusing Netanyahu of “favoring yeshiva students while abandoning the firefighters,” because the committee approved NIS 19 million for yeshivas and yeshiva students.