Israel’s tax authority announced on Tuesday that it would recognize a number of recent wildfires caused by Arab terrorists as “nationalistically motivated” arson, making people whose property was damaged eligible for compensation from the government.
The announcement mentioned nine specific locations where arson was strongly believed to have caused the blazes, including Zikhron Ya’akov and Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city where tens of thousands evacuated last week and hundreds have been left homeless.
The places which were recognized are: Haifa, Zichron Yaakov, Tal-El, Dolev, Talmon, Neve Tzuf, Nataf, Gilon and Nirit.
The tax authorities stated that “The most plausible conclusion regarding these places is that there was war damage as defined in property tax law and compensation fund law or that there was a hostile attack as defined in the law of remuneration for those harmed in hostile acts. Both of these laws entitle victims to compensation.
Regarding the rest of the conflagrations, the state has not yet concluded its investigation together with security forces and the fire authority or has not yet received information about the extent of the damage.
“As more evidence will be received concerning hostile acts and acts which caused damage to property, the tax authority will update this list.”
Over the past week, hundreds of fires raged from the south near the Dead Sea through the north of country, scorching almost 5,000 acres of land.
Repairs for Haifa alone are already projected to total as high as half a billion shekels.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon was to convene a special evaluation session in Haifa on Tuesday with the participation of representatives from the Finance Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office, Public Security Ministry, and other bodies to begin coordinating compensation for residents.