Erdan and Alshich
Erdan and AlshichYonatan Sindel, Flash 90

On Saturday evening, Channel 2 interviewed Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan (Likud) regarding the recent arson intifada.

"The Fire Department has all of the fires currently under control," Erdan said. "They have the ability - and they have received much help from international firefighting teams - and are successfully dealing with all the incidents."

"We're not finished yet, and a lot can happen before next Tuesday [when rain is predicted], especially since these aren't wildfires, they're arson attacks. The Fire Department has asked all schools to refrain from nature hikes until the end of next week."

Erdan also said, "most of those arrested are Arab Muslims from Judea and Samaria, with a very small number being Arabs with Israeli citizenship. 35 suspects have been taken for questioning so far, and 23 of them are under arrest as a result. Some of them are guilty of online incitement to terror, the same incitement which causes people to carry out stabbing attacks. This is a new type of incitement to terror, a terror that encourages Arabs to take advantage of the weather in order to burn entire towns and harm the residents."

Erdan also called on the government to enforce severe punishments for the arsonists.

"We have tools that are proven to work, such as destroying terrorists' homes. If we can destroy the home of a terrorist who stabbed or shot their victim, we must also destroy the homes of the arsonists, who carried out their attacks because of 'nationalistic' motives. There's no difference," he said.

Erdan, who visited Neve Tzuf on Saturday night, tweeted, "I'm on my way to Halamish-Neve Tzuf, to see the scene of last night's arson attack. It's horrific to think about the bestial people who wanted to burn an entire town, along with its residents and children."

Residents of the town were able to escape in time, but those whose homes were burned to the ground, especially on streets which have imported wooden homes that were totally destroyed in minutes, are left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.