Erdan calls for homes of arsonists to be demolished

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called for the homes of terrorists who committed arson attacks over the past few days to be demolished. In addition, Erdan said that while the fires have been contained, the battle is not over yet.
The battle is not over Photo Credit: Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Services Spokesperson/Channel 2 News

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan commented on the wave of fires last night (Saturday) in an interview with Channel 2 News. Erdan stressed that although the situation has been contained, the battle is not yet over. In addition, Erdan called for arsonists to receive harsher punishments.

Erdan said that the international aid that has arrived in Israel will allow the Israel Fire and Rescue Services to handle any complication. “This battle is not over,” stressed Erdan. “A lot can happen prior to Tuesday [when rain is expected] especially when there are malicious arson attacks.”

In regards to the arson suspects who were arrested, Erdan said: “Most of the suspects are West Bank residents. A few of them are Israeli-Arabs. Most of the suspects have already been connected [to the fires] in one way or another. We have questioned 35 suspects in total, 23 of whom are still in custody. Some of them are suspected of inciting arson attacks online.”

“We are now dealing with a different kind of terrorism,” continued Erdan: “Their inspiration is on social media sites. The incitement that caused [terrorists] to go out and stab [Israelis] is now encouraging them to take advantage of the weather and try to burn entire towns filled with people.”

Erdan also called for arsonists to receive increased punishments: “We have tools that have worked in the past, like the demolition of homes. If it is possible to demolish the home of a terrorist who shot or stabbed [his/her victim], it needs to be permitted to demolish the home of an arsonist who was nationalistically motivated. There should be no difference.”

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