Justice Minister Tzipi Livni wants punishment for "price tag" operations – as Jewish nationalistic vandalism is called – to be legally defined as terrorism. She is in the process of proposing a law to this effect and is expected to present it to the Cabinet next week.
The law would mandate heavy punishment against people convicted of such vandalism and those who express support for it. It will also make it possible for the police and Shin Bet to take harsher measures against suspects in the vandalism, like the measures that are taken against Arab terrorists.
Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovich succeeded this week in receiving budgetary approval for 50 additional policemen to fight against "nationalistic crime" – i.e., "price tag" operations.
In the previous government's term in office, the Shin Bet recommended defining "price tag" activities as terrorism, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opposed this.
Livni's bureau said Thursday that she had convened a meeting with Minister Aharonovich and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, regarding "nationalistic crime." Representatives of the State Attorney's Office, the IDF and Shin Bet were also present. "The ministers and the Attorney General noted that they view with gravity the fact that 'price tag' operations have begun taking place inside Israel proper [i.e., not just in Judea and Samaria – ed.] and the danger of harm to relations with Arab Israelis," the Justice Minister's bureau said. "The professional elements have been instructed to use all tools to deal with the phenomenon."