Right-wing ministers on Sunday visited homes across the country harmed by arson attacks and vowed to vanquish the perpetrators.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) met with leaders and other residents of Halamish in the Binyamin region of Samaria whose homes were damaged over the weekend by a fire. He spent time in the home of a Holocaust survivor that was damaged significantly.
“We will deal with this incident as we deal with terrorist attacks,” Bennett said. “For every house that was harmed, we will build many more. This is the answer to nationalist terrorism, and we must win.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) told reporters in Halamish that at least 17 of the more than 100 fires had been proven to be arson and that he was confident proof would be found of many more. He, like Bennett, called for construction in Judea and Samaria as a response to the fires.
“We are not speaking about retaliating,” Liberman said. “We are speaking about rebuilding and putting people’s lives back together. We need to not just rebuild as many houses as possible but also to expand the communities. The best answer to this situation is expanding the communities.”
Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) said on a visit to Halamish that the arsonists who struck on both sides of the pre-1967 Green Line since Tuesday proved that it does not mean anything to them.
“We will catch the terrorists sooner or later, and we will ensure that the terrorists will be convicted,” he said. “The terrorists don’t see a difference between Halamish and Haifa or between Zichron Ya’acov and Dolev [in the Binyamin region].”
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) compared the fires to blazes set near Jewish communities by Arabs in 1929.
“Political correctness is trying to force us to put our heads in the sand when everything around us is burning,” she said. “The first step is to admit that what is happening now is no different than the fires that were set in Hebron and the pogroms in Kishinev. But this time, thank God, the Jewish people has a state and a government, and I will insist that we make decisions that will defeat our internal and external enemies.”
But Kulanu MK Eli Alalouf said: “This is not the time for politics. Our ministers and members of Knesset should restrain themselves. If there are guilty parties, the state will know how to punish them properly.”
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