Carmel fire victim’s family asks PM to sack ministers at fault
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Carmel fire victim’s family asks PM to sack ministers at fault

Father, widower of Topaz Even-Chen intend to petition High Court of Justice if Netanyahu doesn't respond

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Eli Yishai (left) and Yuval Steinitz at a hearing about the Carmel fire, February 2010 (photo credit: Abir Sultan / Flash90)
Eli Yishai (left) and Yuval Steinitz at a hearing about the Carmel fire, February 2010 (photo credit: Abir Sultan / Flash90)

The family of a Carmel fire victim on Thursday petitioned the prime minister to sack Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz because of the findings of the state comptroller’s report on the 2010 disaster.

Retired Maj. Gen. Zeev Even-Chen, father of the late Topaz Even-Chen Klein, and her widower, Amit Klein, demanded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fire Yishai and Steinitz because of their particular responsibility for the government’s shortcomings in combating the 2010 inferno. They urged Netanyahu to use his legal authority and dismiss the ministers.

The Carmel fire report, released Wednesday by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, listed a number of failures by the state in preparing for and battling the massive blaze in the Carmel forest a year and a half ago, in which 44 people died. Much of the blame was laid at the door of Yishai and Steinitz for the reductions in budgets and inadequate preparations that left the nation’s firefighting capabilities lacking.

“A situation in which there is responsibility but no one is held responsible is unacceptable,” the family members said.

Even-Chen and Klein asked the prime minister to respond to the request by the end of the month. If he doesn’t, they intend to petition the High Court of Justice before its summer recess.

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