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(photo credit: )
The public received a harsh warning from Center for Local Government chairman Adi Eldar on Thursday, who said it was only a matter of time until a mayor is murdered.
His comments followed an incident Wednesday night in 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 suspect that the perpetrators were local criminals targeting the mayor because of her attempts to eradicate crime from Netanya.
"We don't have to wait until a mayor is killed or his family members are hurt," 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 said.
"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 the chairman of the Knesset's house committee to hold an emergency meeting on the matter.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed later Thursday afternoon to hold the meeting.
In October, the houses of both Sabag and a local detective were attacked by grenade throwers. No one was injured in the two incidents, but the explosions prompted a series of top-level meetings with local and national law enforcement officials.
Incidents involving criminals throwing grenades into the houses of city leaders have occurred recently in several other towns, including Herzliya.
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