Yisrael Hazaka head, who has urged "Operation Cast Lead" against crime, also gets phone threat.
By SHELLY PAZ, YAAKOV LAPPIN
Yisrael Hazaka chairman Ephraim Sneh's car was torched next to his Herzliya home early Sunday morning, leading police to place a security detail around the premises.
Sneh awoke in his Herzliya home at 4:20 a.m. to discover that his rented car was on fire. Firefighters determined that the car had been torched deliberately.
A threatening phone call was also placed to Sneh's home, in which an anonymous caller said the former Knesset member would be targeted for assault in the future.
"We are investigating a number of directions in this incident," a Tel Aviv police spokeswoman said on Sunday.
Sneh, a physician, former senior IDF officer and former Labor MK who served as health minister, transportation minister and twice as deputy defense minister, left his party of the past 21 years to establish the new Yisrael Hazaka (Strong Israel) Party. Fighting crime is prominent on the new party's platform.
Sneh said on Sunday that earlier in the morning he had received a phone call asking him to go down to the street and move his vehicle because there was a car on fire in the parking lot.
"When I went down there, I realized it was my car that was on fire. There is no doubt that this was intentional. In the past month, there have been four attacks on four mayors. This is a direct attack of criminals on public figures who have declared war against crime," Sneh said.
Sneh's election campaign has focused in recent weeks on the need to intensify the struggle against crime families. He has also called on the government to launch another Operation Cast Lead, this time against the underworld. The slogan of his campaign is "Eliminating crime - it can be done."
"I have gone through tougher experiences in my life," Sneh said, adding, "It's certainly an unpleasant experience, but nothing will deter me from accomplishing the mission to which I have committed myself: demanding the public security portfolio and eliminating the enemy at home - crime."
Sneh said his family was supportive of his struggle.
"My children, who are all grown up now, lived with me in Metulla when I served in Lebanon and lived under rocket attacks when I fought terror. They know me and my way, and they understand that we must fight this enemy," he said.
When asked why, in his opinion, he was being targeted, Sneh said, "Just as I warned about the increasing Iranian threat 16 years ago, I am now warning about the threat of the terror of crime, and I am not afraid of taking on this mission."
He added, "I am a veteran in the war against terror, and threats don't scare me."
The only minister who called Sneh on Sunday was Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog (Labor), who offered his support and expressed his regrets on Sneh's parting from Labor last May.
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