(photo credit: Shin Bet [file])
The public received a harsh warning from chairman of the Center for Local Government Adi Eldar on Thursday, who said that it was only a matter of time until an Israeli mayor is murdered.
His comments followed an incident Wednesday night during which a grenade was thrown at the home of Netanya mayor Miriam Freiberg.
The grenade landed on the porch and caused damage to the building, but no one was harmed.
Police estimated that the perpetrators were local criminals acting out of revenge against the mayor for attempts to eradicate crime from Netanya.
"We don't have to wait until a mayor is killed or his family members are hurt. We don't have to wait for it," said Eldar in an interview with Israel Radio.
"What would happen if a grenade was thrown into the home of a member of Knesset or a judge? The country would go mad. The [victim] would get full protection," he claimed.
"We need to locate those mayors that are being threatened and give them full protection, we have no choice.
"After every such event the police must establish a special investigate team," said Eldar.
A second step to take is to give harsher sentences for those found guilty of the attacks, Eldar said, referring to an incident where the man found guilty of throwing a grenade at the house of Hod Hasharon's mayor received only two years in jail.
Also on Thursday, Nahariya Mayor Jacky Sabag was threatened with a toy gun by an anonymous person.
Following the two incidents, Israel Beiteinu MK Yitzhak Aharonovich asked chairman of the Knesset's house committee to hold an emergency meeting in the matter.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed later Thursday afternoon to hold the meeting.
In October, both Sabag's and a local detective's houses were attacked by grenade throwers. No one was injured in the two attacks, but the explosions set into action a series of top-level meetings with local and national law enforcement officials.
Incidents involving criminals throwing grenades into the houses of city leaders occurred in several other Israeli towns including Herzliya.