The government approved on Sunday a proposal declaring pirate radio a threat that constitutes "aerial terror" and endangers the peace and security of passengers flying over Israeli skies.
The approval of the proposal, initiated by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, means that the government will increase its activities against illegal broadcasting. For the first time, a pirate radio offense will be termed an "economic crime," and will be enforced as such.
The enforcement plan includes adding five police teams to deal with locating and dealing with pirate radio infrastructure, and placing two prosecutors with the economics crime division of the police to work on the legal end.
The tax authority will also be involved, by hunting advertisers, financers and broadcasters. The government will recommend that the attorney general prepare a punishment policy suited to the gravity of the offense.
Mofaz will oversee the implementation of the plan and will report to the government on its progress one every six months.
Mofaz said that since the government was recruited to act against the phenomenon, "there has been a drastic drop in disturbances to the [radio] connection at the Ben Gurion Airport control tower." For example, there were 14 incidents of disturbances in September 2006, and only three this past September.
The transportation minister added that "our aim is to dismantle the pirate radio infrastructure. It will be treated by focusing on people, not offices. We will act to deter by harming the entire circle that deals in the field ? from the broadcaster, to the director of the station and down to the advertiser. If we carry out the plan, within two years, we will be able to destroy the criminal infrastructure."
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