Photo Credit: Yaniv Nadav/Flash90
Members of the Knesset Honor Guard, IDF Home Front Command, firefighters, and Magen David Adom participate in an emergency drill simulating an earthquake near Ashkelon, on Dec. 19, 2019.

The Israeli government on Tuesday held its first inter-ministerial committee meeting to discuss long-term planning for recovery following a major earthquake.

The meeting, headed by the director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, Naama Schultz, included tens of directors general from government ministries and other official agencies that deal with emergencies.

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The meeting resulted in a decision to draw up a national readiness plan and to implement it across a range of sectors, including urban construction after an earthquake, community recovery, economic recovery and national infrastructure rebuilding.

“As part of the lessons learned from the coronavirus, the State of Israel has set as an objective of aligning itself with advanced countries and formulating, ahead of time, a recovery strategy that will help in managing the response to future disasters,” the PMO said in a statement.

It added that the strategy includes the concept of “building back better” after disasters.

During the meeting, Schultz said, “A powerful earthquake in Israel is not a question of whether it will happen, but when. The Israeli government set itself the objective of boosting readiness for a powerful earthquake and other emergencies, both at the prevention and reduction of damages, and at the recovery stages. Today we are recruiting all government ministries to ensure better readiness by the State of Israel for emergencies.”

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