Israel - Cost of Supertanker: NIS 3 million

Israel - The cost of running the American Supertanker plane during the Carmel fire extinguishing efforts stands at NIS 3 million ($823,435) for two days – NIS 1.5 million ($411,717) a day.
The Finance Ministry asked Wednesday that the Knesset's Finance Committee approve a special budget of NIS 6 million ($1,646,870) to cover the plane's operating costs. The ministry stated that the request was made before the Supertanker arrived, based on an agreement renting the plane's services for four days. While it was actually used for two days said the Finance Ministry representative.

The committee approved the requested sum after the Finance Ministry announced that the request could not be altered after the fact, but made a commitment to the committee to bring the final sum given to the American's for the use of the plane to the committee's attention.

Answering committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni's question, the Finance Ministry representative said that the cost of the rest of the fire extinguishing planes would be at the expense of the aiding countries.

Gafni mentioned that the aerial fire services issue would be at the center of the committee's discussion on the lessons and consequences of the Carmel fire and stated that is his opinion, the expense of purchasing a plane the size of the Supertanker was an unwarranted expense for a state like Israel.

"The Supertanker is something that would suit Independence Day celebrations", Gafni said, and claimed that 2-3 smaller planes like those that Greece and Italy have would suffice for Israel's needs.



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