Knesset takes action to aid fire victims, deter future arson

Slomiansky expressed hope that increasing the penalty for arson will “stop the madness” of recent days.

November 27, 2016 17:51
1 minute read.
Moshe Gafni


The Knesset snapped into action on Sunday to help victims and to otherwise respond to the fires that had been raging across the country.

“There’s no reason to wait,” Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said. “The Knesset and the government must immediately enter the thick of things.”

“People lost their homes, and we must discuss as quickly as possible how we can stand with them and help them rebuild their homes, neighborhoods and cities that were harmed,” he added.

The Finance Committee plans to meet on Monday to discuss compensation for victims of the fire.

“Government representatives already said that they will recognize the fires as [attacks] with a nationalist background, and therefore we must make it easier for everyone who was hurt to get immediate treatment without having to pay,” Gafni said.

Meanwhile, Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) sought to strike at the source of some of the blazes, by proposing a bill that would set a minimum punishment for arson at onefifth of the maximum, which is already listed in the law as 15 years, and if it is of state property or a nature site, 20 years.

Slomiansky said his initiative would ensure greater deterrence against those who are considering committing such crimes.

“The scope of the damage caused in recent days by arson is incomprehensible,” he said. “The [penal code] today does not set a minimum punishment or a monetary fine, and therefore, there is an immediate need to amend the law and increase our deterrence.”

Slomiansky expressed hope that increasing the penalty for arson will prevent a recurrence of “the madness” of recent days.

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