(Nov. 20, 2009) On October 26, 2009, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed an amendment to the Penal Code imposing harsher sentences than the standard penalty of three years of imprisonment for theft under special circumstances. According to the amendment, a sentence of four years' imprisonment will be imposed on persons convicted of stealing items used as a part of or as a means of connecting to infrastructure facilities or items designed to guarantee public security. The same penalty also applies to persons who steal any items used as a work tool or as a means to earn personal income, including agricultural tools or products whose value exceeds an amount equal to approximately US$265. The penalty of four years' imprisonment may also be imposed on persons who steal items of cultural, scientific, historic, religious, or artistic value.
An extended period of imprisonment of seven years will be imposed on persons who steal, destroy, or harm items of high monetary value (those valued above an amount approximately equivalent to US$133,000). (Penal Law (Amendment No. 101) 5780-2009, Law and Amendment, the Knesset website, http://www.knesset.gov.il (last visited Nov. 18, 2009).)