Chief of Police and former deputy head of Shabak Roni Alsheich visited the Binyamin town of Neve Tzuf (Halamish) on Sunday afternoon. Neve Tzuf suffered an Arab arson attack on Friday night, when arsonists threw Molotov cocktails and ignited three different locations in the town.
18 houses were burned and 30 more were damaged in the incident. Thankfully, there was no loss of life.
Referring to the arson attacks, Alsheich said, "I don't know for sure [how many cases were arson] and I don't want to disturb the investigations. There's no doubt that from the moment the subject made headlines, it became a 'wave,' because everyone saw how easy it was. And we also explained how simple it is to carry out an arson - we need to take that into account as well."
"I would guess that the first few incidents also involved a degree of negligence, while the later ones were already pure arson. But we're conducting a thorough investigation," he emphasized.
Referring to Arabs from Binyamin, Judea and Samaria, Alsheich said: "It's obvious that in areas where the Palestinian Arabs have a lot of control, it's very easy to throw a Molotov cocktail at the neighboring Jewish town and be done with it. It's harder for a Palestinian Arab to cross over the Green Line, but it's not that hard. At the end of the day, there are innumerable illegals here, so you really have the whole spectrum...if the fire was an arson, it is absolutely a terror attack."
A significant number of those arrested, however, were Arabs with Israeli citizenship, but those fires were not set in Judea and Samaria.
"This isn't new, but it's on a larger scale, more acts of arson were carried out within the span of only a few days. The weather was worse, which made it easier and made the damage much greater - and that's what's new.
"Our security and rescue abilities are being tested again. Our success in dealing with this incident came from the fact that we all worked together. During an event which takes only a few seconds to produce results, there's no way you'd be able to save a life without working together," noted Alsheich.
"Our main challenge was to get everyone out alive. The decision making, which started at the very first second, was all correct and it passed the test. We'll have other challenges. Constant practice and proper management ensured there was no loss of life."