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Likud bill seeks house demolitions for ‘arson terrorists’

Likud MK Sharren Haskel says she will file a bill aimed at battling arsonists, the Ma’ariv newspaper reports.

Haskel says the bill, an initiative of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, will define arsonists as terror activists, so that they can be punished the same way as terrorists, which includes home demolitions.

“We should act to the full extent of the law against arson terrorists and to send a message of warning,” Katz is quoted by the paper as saying.

Haskel says that the recent wave of arsons, in which more than 75,000 people were evacuated from their homes, “is a new rise in severity [of the offense] and we should treat it this way. The amendment to the bill will enable [the state] to confiscate and demolish property belonging to arsonists who damage the state’s security and to define them as terror activists.”

Meanwhile, an unnamed security official quoted by Ma’ariv says the wave of fires did not start as terror attacks but became as much when some Palestinians were “inspired” to set out and light fires.

“Discourse on social media created a ruckus and made Palestinian go online and get inspired. On Thursday morning we monitored hundreds of chats, most of which came to nothing, but some of which led to Palestinians leaving their villages and trying to start fires,” the official says, adding that “it would be a complex mission to turn it into an indictment on suspicion of carrying out acts of terrorism.”

Likud MK Sharren Haskel speaks after being sworn into the Knesset on September 2, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud MK Sharren Haskel speaks after being sworn into the Knesset on September 2, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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