Arson Suspected in Government Building Fire

YERUSHALAYIM -

Arson was suspected in a fire at a building that houses offices of the Tax Authority and National Insurance Institute in Holon, near Tel Aviv, on Wednesday.

The building sustained only light damage in the fire overnight; and there were no injuries.

Vandals also spray-painted “the blood of the self-employed is not worthless” on the building, prompting police to investigate a possible link to angry protests by the self-employed and small businesses demanding more state financial aid in the pandemic. No arrests have been made so far.

National Insurance Institute employees said they found two Molotov cocktails at the scene, Channel 13 reported.

The Tax Authority was quoted as condemning the incident and pointed out “the tremendous effort that Tax Authority workers are investing to help make it easier for businesses with an emphasis on the self-employed.”

In response to complaints, the government last week ramped up its response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus shutdowns, approving an 8 billion shekel ($2.27 billion) plan for the self-employed and small business owners.