Daily Israel Report

Arsonists are Terrorists, Says Knesset Member Katz

Arson of public property is terror, but the government is putting its head in the sand, charges National Union MK Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/18/2011, 10:33 AM / Last Update: 7/18/2011, 11:30 AM

Hezki Ezra, Arutz Sheva

Arson of public property is terror, but the government is putting its head in the sand, charged National Union chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz on Monday.

He said a ”Diaspora mentality” is guiding authorities and mainstream media who reported on the huge inferno in Jerusalem Sunday without even referring to previous incidents of arson.

Police have said that one or more arsonists caused the blaze that burned down hundreds of acres in the Jerusalem Hills and forced the evacuation of the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial Museum Monday. The identity and motives of the arsonists have not been revealed.

MK Katz noted that although last year’s devastating fire in the Carmel forest in northern Israel was caused by carelessness, police discovered that Arabs set other fires in the area while firefighters were trying to extinguish the inferno.

Dozens of firefighting planes cannot stop Arab terrorists from setting forests on fire. Punishment is the only way to end "arson terror.”

He prepared a bill a year and a half ago, providing for a minimum of five years in jail for anyone convicted of arson of public property, but the government rejected advancing the bill in the Knesset, and the bill failed.