There are several possibilities ... if they set a fire that spread inadvertently, it could still be some sort of malicious mischief or some sort of criminal negligence. Or, if any fires are banned in a particular area, then they could be charged even if they didn't intend any harm or damage.
Originally Posted by agalisgv
What attyfan said, they probably will be charged with negligence with 3 years prison time.
The suspects are minors (14 and 15 years old brothers). The Israeli law is usually less severe with minors. Though in this case, police said that those teenagers were already warned few times before from doing this. It turned out that they liked to set fire, and smoke their nargila. If this is the case, then it means that they already have a record of doing it.
The teenagers' parents, BTW, are mostly fear from a blood feud. Usafiya is a Druze village (with 5% Muslim and 15% Christian Arabs), and some of the victims are Druze.
So they are claiming not guilty, even though there is a strong evidence against them.
BTW, the arson option was dropped almost immediately after the fire began. Firefighters said over and over again on the Israeli media that it was due to negligence.
The two teenagers were released from custody today - I don't know what the situation is with the investigation, but a district judge reversed the decision to extend their arrest.
On a sad note, the number of victims rose to 42 after Haifa's police chief, Ahuva Tomer, died earlier today; she had been near the prison service bus and suffered from severe burns. Two men remain in hospital with serious burn injuries, a prison service cadet and a firefighter. I hope both will be able to recover.