Netanyahu Aides Added Praise to Memorial Speech Introduction, Sources Say

Host of unveiling of Carmel blaze memorial service describes premier as the 'first who understood the gravity of the situation and who continuously cares for the victims' families.'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's aides edited the premier's written introduction in a memorial service on Monday honoring the victim's of last year's Carmel blaze.

The introduction was read out prior to Netanyahu's speech at the unveiling of a new memorial monument for the victims of the Carmel blaze, which ravaged Israel's north in December of 2010.

Benjamin Netanyahu - 19.12.2011
Press pool

In the introduction, the PM was described as the "first who understood the gravity of the situation and who continuously cares for the families."

Both Netanyahu and Interior Minister Yishai were originally scheduled to appear at the event, following year-long tensions between the victims' families and the state over what relatives saw as the latter's ineptitude in face of the disaster.

Speaking with Haaretz later Monday, officials involved in the preparation of the ceremony indicated that officials Prime Minister's Office received the original text with which the premier was to be introduced and edited it to add the complimentary remarks.

According to the source, the ceremony was organized by the Defense Ministry, which was also the body supervising the texts read by host and veteran Israel Radio news announcer Dan Kaner.

After Netanyahu announced that he would participae in the ceremony, Defense Ministry officials handed the texts to be read out in the ceremony to the PM's Office, where sources said aides altered the introduction to include praise to the premier.

The PM's Office did not provide their comment to the reported events.