Photo Credit: B'Tselem
Graffiti found on the burned home in the village of Duma.

The Security Cabinet passed a measure on Sunday (Aug. 2) officially designating the Duma arson a “terror attack.” The designation opens the door to the victims for various benefits from the Israeli government. It also changes the way the perpetrators will be dealt with when they are caught.

The Cabinet also approved the use of administrative detention in dealing with Jewish terrorists. “The Security Cabinet views the arson and murder in Duma as a terrorist attack in every respect,” said a government statement following the cabinet meeting.


“The Security Cabinet directs the security agencies to take all necessary steps to apprehend those responsible and prevent similar acts. To these ends, the Security Cabinet approved the recommendation of the professional echelon to take all necessary steps and to use all means at their disposal, including administrative detention where appropriate, with the approval of the Attorney General.

The Cabinet instructed that draft legislation on the fight against terrorism be “urgently” advanced in the Knesset.

Also passed was a decision to establish a ministerial counter terror committee chaired by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to include Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, to propose additional measures to combat “such severe events.”

At present, “price tag” groups are classified as “unlawful associations.” This allows investigators to prevent detainees from conferring with their attorneys and allows courts to issue long-term administrative limitation orders for the suspects. Changing that classification to “terror organizations,” according to the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and a legal adviser who met with other security officials at the Justice Ministry, would “intensify the stigma and condemnation of their actions in society.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


  1. So nobody is worried that the government is able to lift your civil rights (to a lawyer, to trial and so on) by deciding that you belong to an “unlawful association” or can upgrade that to a terrorist group and do even more, even though we might be talking about a bunch of stupid teens and they might “only” have written on a wall (yes, I know. Not this time. Arson and murder is arson and murder but where does the government get to decide that you don’t have the right to a lawyer or a trial? “Them” can become “me” pretty fast.Governments need to have their hands slapped hard quite regularly or they put their hands on your rights And the police have a track record of picking people up because they “fit the profile” and the only reason they got released–as in didn’t do it–was that they had access to lawyers and civil rights) The police have already overstepped boundaries (since when is knowing somebody who committed a crime or being related to somebody who knnows somebody who committed a crime an arrestable offense? The Grossmans are the current example but its been happening with “the settlers” and we haven’t been screaming our heads off ). All the government has to do is decide somebody I associate with is “unlawful”? While I am praying that Jews didn’t do this horrible thing, it isn’t acceptable to deprive any citizen of their civil rights.

  2. Evil – completely. Hate crime, for sure. I’m unsure if it meets the definition of terrorist act, but it may. However, to go and include the “price tag” events as terrorism of any kind is a bit extreme. If I remember correctly those were all tagged “price tag” this was not. Only that one Hebrew word written in a very odd script.

  3. There was a lot more to it than just the odd script (a lot of graffitists in the US favor oddly styled scripts that proclaim group affiliation but this also could indicate other stuff. Get a look at the A-7 article about sometone who went to Duma to try to make a condolence call (it was a propaganda setup so he didn’t manage to do that but it was interesting what he observed.) It is impossible that the police haven’t observed the same and more, which kind of strengthens what worries me.

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