Text size

The Knesset State Control Committee is expected to vote on a proposed state commission of inquiry into the failures that surfaced as a result of the fires in the Carmel region.

Although the government coalition has a majority on the control committee, sources say a majority of the committee's members would vote in favor of such a state commission.

Supporters of the move are relying in part on a vote in favor from MK Amnon Cohen of Shas, who has called on his party's chairman, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, to support the convening of a commission. Another Knesset member whose vote could be decisive is the Labor Party's Raleb Majadele, who also expressed his support in principle for a commission.

Kadima refused to publicly state its stance on the matter, but the chairman of the Control Committee, Yoel Hasson of Kadima, is thought to be an enthusiastic advocate of convening a commission in light of the serious findings in the State Comptroller's report on the state of the country's fire service that is to be released today. Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni is expected to announce her position this afternoon, once the report is officially released.

Hasson told Haaretz yesterday that a state commission would have two important advantages in that it could draw conclusions related to the failures on the part of individuals and it could resolve how emergency services should be organized, but he refused to take an official position, saying he would await the comptroller's report.

Labor Party chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, it was learned yesterday, opposes setting up a commission, saying the panels disrupt the proper priorities of executive branch agencies.