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MK Katz: Treat Arson as Terror

National Union head says he will again propose a bill setting minimum jail sentence for terror arson.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/8/2012, 8:42 PM

Ketzaleh
Ketzaleh
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The state of Israel must recognize arson terrorism as a form of nationalistic warfare against it, MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), head of the National Union, said Wednesday.

"The government needs to bring the arsonist terrorists under control as well as the fires themselves," MK Katz said.

MK noted that at the outset of the present Knesset's term, he twice proposed a bill that would set a five-year mandatory minimum jail sentence for people convicted of nationalistic arson. The Likud government torpedoed the bills.

In addition, MK Katz said, the State Comptroller and Ombudsman's report on the Carmel Fire does not contain a single word about the way the fires start – even though it is well known that these are usually started by nationalist arson.

MK Katz said he would present the bill again when the Knesset convenes for its winter session in October. The bill also obligates the government to establish a forest reconnaissance unit "whose job will be to prevent the arsonists from making the state of Israel, with its forests and trees, go up in flames."