Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) has proposed a bill proclaiming arsonists as terror activists. The bill comes in the wake of last week's arson intifada, and aims to allow the Israeli government to punish arsonists the same way as terrorists.
Katz said, "We should act to the full extend of the law against arson terrorists and to send a message of warning."
Likud MK Sharren Haskel said, "The wave of fires that has forced the evacuations of more than 75,000 citizens is an escalation, and we must treat it as such...We must use every possible legal means to stop ecological terrorism. The amendment to the bill will enable... to confiscate and demolish property belonging to arsonists....and to define them as terrorists."
It should be noted that terrorists receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority for carrying out attacks on Jews. It is not clear if the PA would pay arsonists' salaries if the Israeli government chose to treat them as terrorists.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said arsonists are terrorists, and promised to bring them to justice.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) said on Thursday that he would personally strip every proven arsonist of his residency status, while on Saturday night, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the terMeanwhile, MK Oren Hazan (Likud) said it is time to expel terrorists and their families. Hazan has submitted a bill to this effect, which the Ministerial Committee on Legislation has been sitting on for several months.
In a video on his Facebook page on Friday, Hazan said, "It is sad, shocking and painful to watch the land of Israel going up in flames. The time has come to end this screwup. We will end this hate-inspired environmental terrorism. Every terrorist must know we will get to every one of you."
Chief of Police Roni Alsheich said earlier on Monday that the earlier fires may have been caused partially by negligence, but when the Arabs saw it was so easy to start a fire, they began to carry out arson attacks.
If the bill passed, it would allow the government to demolish the arsonists' homes and strip them of citizenship. It would also allow the arson victims to receive compensation as if they were victims of a regular terror attack.rorists' homes must be demolished.