(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Anyone who pranks emergency hotlines will find his or her phone line blocked, according to a bill approved for its final readings by the Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee on Monday.
The phone line of anyone who makes a false-alarm call to an emergency line would be cut off for four days, and the length of the blockage will increase to two weeks if the offense is repeated. If the behavior continues, the line can be permanently disconnected.
The bill, proposed by Law, Constitution and Justice Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) and Zionist Union MKs Omer Bar- Lev and Merav Michaeli, was inspired by the kidnapping and murder of three teenage boys in Gush Etzion in the summer of 2014. One of them called emergency services, and his call did not receive an immediate response.
Bar-Lev said “the horrifying recording in which Gil- Ad [Shaer] tried to turn to the police, but his call fell on deaf ears, was an event that cannot happen again “Today, half of the calls to emergency hotlines are false alarms, and since the start of the security escalation, I say we have to bring calm,” Bar- Lev added. “In order to allow security forces and the diplomatic level to do its work, every civilian must behave responsibly.”
Michaeli said that whoever makes a prank call to emergency hotlines is risking lives by causing help to not be available to those who really need them.
Slomiansky said emergency hotlines have overflown with unnecessary calls.
“The need to disconnect a phone line of a serial prankster will allow emergency services to use most of their resources on real calls and save lives, unlike what happened when the three teens were kidnapped,” he stated.