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Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Knesset State Control Committee's panel on aviation safety on Monday that "the State of Israel had invested NIS 5 billion in building a modern terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport, but 'forgot' to invest in runways and in air traffic control."

Mofaz told the panel that the Transportation Ministry was doing its utmost to catch up after years of neglect and lack of investment in aviation safety. He added that the ministry was working to ensure a swift implementation of the Lapidot Committee safety recommendations, but "we still haven't reached international standards."

"However," the minister added, "we mustn't create a panic and we mustn't frighten the public. Israel's citizens can feel confident in the safety of flights."

Transportation Ministry Director General Gideon Siterman said that the ministry operates in "complete transparency and cooperation with international safety authorities."

Siterman added that "In three years' time, once the recommendations of the Lapidot Committee have been implemented and aviation deficiencies have been solved, Israel will become one of the world's leaders in the field of civilian aviation safety."