State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said Sunday he would not postpone the release of a report on the fire service that his office is now compiling, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked him to expand the report to include a critique of the government's preparedness for the Carmel fire.
Lindenstrauss is expected to issue the report Wednesday, and is due to meet with members of his office today to discuss whether to undertake a separate investigation of the Carmel fire.
Some see Netanyahu's request as a way of providing the public with an investigation of the wildfire, without having to establish a commission of inquiry.
But sources in Netanyahu's office said Netanyahu was just seeking an initial report, especially since the comptroller was already investigating Israel's fire preparedness.
"That doesn't mean there won't be an additional investigation in the future," one of the sources said.
The comptroller has already critiqued the state's fire preparedness, saying in a 2007 report that the fire service is the weakest of Israel's rescue forces.
Another report, issued early this year, stated that the situation the fire service was in had significantly deteriorated in the time since the initial report. Soon after, Interior Minister Eli Yishai initiated a cabinet resolution to inject more funding into the fire service.
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