Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) said Thursday evening that he would consider every option available to him to punish the arsonists responsible for the series of fires that broke out in Haifa.
Fires have been sparked across Israel since Tuesday, fueled by unseasonably dry weather and strong winds.
Many if not most of the fires, however, are believed to have been started deliberately as acts of terror against Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged to bring the arsonists responsible to justice, saying that they would be treated no differently than other terrorists who commit violent acts.
"Every fire caused by arson, or incitement to commit arson, is terrorism for all intents and purposes, and we will bring them to justice."
Speaking in Haifa Thursday evening, as the number of evacuees topped 85,000 in a fire that reached 8 neighborhoods in the mixed Jewish-Arab city, Deri said the Interior Ministry would use all of the tools at its disposal to punish those responsible, including possibly stripping the arsonists of their citizenship.