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Attacks on Israel elderly spark bill

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Israeli authorities are worried by a spate of violent assaults on the elderly.

In recent months almost a dozen Israeli pensioners have been hospitalized after muggings that made national headlines in their viciousness.

The phenomenon, which compounded a general sense of increased crime in the Jewish state, prompted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to tell his Cabinet this week that assaults on the elderly are a “new kind of terrorism.”

The Pensioners Party, which is part of Olmert’s coalition government, has spearheaded efforts to crack down on the attacks. It introduced a bill that would double the prison time handed down against anyone convicted of violence against the elderly. The new legislation was approved by the Knesset Law Committee on Tuesday and must now be ratified by the plenum.

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