Knesset c'tee: Leniency for negligence in gas leak incidents is 'cruelty to children'

According to police report, of the dozens of gas offenders only one is in prison.

By
February 17, 2014 20:20
2 minute read.
Jerusalem gas explosion, January 20, 2014.

Jerusalem gas explosion, January 20, 2014.. (photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Knesset State Control Committee chairman Amnon Cohen (Shas) said on Monday that judges’ merciful attitudes toward gas offenders lead to cruelty to children.

This statement came in light of the Jerusalem gas explosion as well as the Acre explosion on Monday, which may have also been caused by a gas leak, and a police report that the courts have dealt with gas offenders leniently.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The report showed that out of dozens of gas offenders only one was sent to prison.

The police said that those convicted of stealing gas containers, who use gas in an unlicensed manner and sell it without a permit, are getting sentences of community service instead of the two years of prison time that the law authorizes for their offenses.

The hearing came following the recent gas explosion disasters as well as a recent hard-hitting report by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira on problems related to the state’s inspection and regulation of gas issues.

Referring to the report and recent disasters, Cohen said “a disaster like this could happen at any time and in any place.”

Cohen said that the state of affairs described in the report indicated that nothing had changed in the years since he had held a hearing on the issue, when he was chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee.



On specific changes, he suggested legislating minimum sentencing guidelines for violators so that judges could not give lenient sentences.

In light of the Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry report, which showed less than 200 gas safety incidents whilst the Fire Department reported over 8,000 of such incidents, he said that various state authorities needed to cooperate better.

MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) warned that “before we worry about the assassinations in the underworld – we should be treating every gas balloon” as if it’s a potential explosive device near each house.

He said that many gas balloons are exposed and that “any terrorist can approach them and ignite them.”

Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom deflected criticism of his ministry, saying that better controls on gas must be enforced by those selling gas.

He said that a new Knesset bill might empower citizens to decide on their gas provider instead of leaving the decision to the builder, and called on the Justice Ministry to declare theft of gas a more serious form of theft.

Justice Ministry representative Oren Tamir resisted the pressure for minimum sentencing guidelines for judges, saying judges needed discretion to balance public safety with the individual circumstances of each case.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD