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Palestinian toddler killed in settler price-tag attack

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A Palestinian toddler was killed in the central West Bank village of Duma in an overnight settler arson attack that targeted two homes. Eighteen-month old Ali Saad Dawabsha died in the gasoline fire-bombings, and his mother and brother were seriously injured. The wounded were transferred by helicopter to a Israeli hospital in Jerusalem for treatment. A funeral was held in Duma this morning for Dawabsha.

Mourners carry the body of 18-month-old Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh, who was killed after his family's house was set to fire in a suspected attack by Jewish extremists in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus July 31, 2015.  (Photo: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters)
Mourners carry the body of 18-month-old Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh, who was killed after his family’s house was set to fire in a suspected attack by Jewish extremists in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus July 31, 2015. (Photo: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters)

A neighbor, Ibrahim Dawabsha, told Reuters he saw two masked assailants fleeing the scene. “We found the parents outside with burns, they said there was another son in the house. We brought him out and then they said there was another boy inside, but we couldn’t reach the bedroom because of the fire. He was left inside until rescue forces came,” he said.

Outside of Dawabsha’s home, the arsonists spray painted a star of David and “revenge” in Hebrew, signifying the killing was a “price tag” attack, in which Israeli settlers seek retaliation for government demolitions of settlements by committing acts of violence against Palestinians. Earlier this week Israel demolished structures in the West Bank settlement of Beit El outside of Ramallah, clashing with hundreds of right-wing protesters during the leveling.

Interior of Palestinian home after settler arson attack. (Photo: Zakariya Saddeh/Rabbis for Human Rights).
Interior of Palestinian home after settler arson attack. (Photo: Zakariya Saddeh/Rabbis for Human Rights).

Last night’s slaying has caused uproar from top officials in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

“We hold the Israeli government fully responsible for the brutal assassination of the toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement this morning. “Over a year ago President Abbas requested international protection for Palestinians, a call that has been ignored so far. Today we can see the consequences,” he continued.

Erekat also noted “Since 2004, over 11,000 settler attacks have taken place against Palestinian homes, cars, churches, mosques, trees and others with full impunity.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the killing in a series of tweets this morning stating, “This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of the perpetrators.”

Seeking to calm tensions, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin will visit the wounded this afternoon, and he released a statement to the Arab public this morning.

“I feel a sense of shame, and moreover a sense of pain. Pain over the murder of a small baby. Pain that from my people, there are those who have chosen the path of terrorism, and have lost their humanity. Their path is not my path,” the president said.

Rivlin also called on all parties to “join together” and “allow police to do their work.” Yet the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem is skeptical that the authorities will bring charges against the attackers. In a statement released today B’Tselem said over the past three years Israeli settlers have burned nine Palestinian homes in the West Bank. Of those nine crimes, no charges were brought against the culprits, which they say conditions a culture of impunity for settler arsonists and killers.

“Official condemnations of this attack are empty rhetoric as long as politicians continue their policy of avoiding enforcement of the law on Israelis who harm Palestinians, and do not deal with the public climate and the incitement which serve is backdrop to these acts,” B’Tselem said.

Slightly more than a year ago three Israelis abducted and 16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir from outside his Jerusalem home and then burned him alive. The killing initiated a wave of attacks, contributing to a volatile atmosphere across Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem marked by clashes that were described often as the “Jerusalem Intifada” in media reports. The three Israelis who confessed to the crime are now on trial for murder.

 

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Thank you, Allison. “Yet the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem is skeptical that the authorities will bring charges against the attackers. In a statement released today B’Tselem said over the past three years Israeli settlers have burned nine Palestinian homes in the West Bank. Of those nine crimes, no charges were brought against the culprits, which they say conditions a culture of impunity for settler arsonists and killers. “Official condemnations of this attack are empty… Read more »

“I feel a sense of shame, and moreover a sense of pain. Pain over the murder of a small baby. Pain that from my people, there are those who have chosen the path of terrorism, and have lost their humanity. Their path is not my path,” the president said. “Their path” is not your path – BULLSHIT. The Nyu govt is “their path” for God’s sake. And most Israelis agree with “their path” or they… Read more »

Al Jazeera is the only American news channel that is covering this sad story. The other news organizations in the US have not mentioned a word, at least when I checked last. This is outrageous to say the least. Netanyahu may mouth the words “terrorists” but it is simply to show the world he is against this. He has imported, and bred these terrorists, so that they can keep building more and more illegal settlements… Read more »

From NYT article: “Yinon Magal, a member of the Israeli Parliament from the pro-settler Jewish Home faction, noted that Thursday was the 30th day since Mr. Rosenfeld’s death, a significant mourning milestone for religious Jews. “I suppose there is some sort of message here,” he said in a radio interview. But he and leaders of his right-wing party were among an array of politicians who used the bluntest possible language to distance themselves from the… Read more »

These illegal settlers are from Hell. Let us not forget the horrible crime against young Mohamed Abu Kdheir, again by these vicious terrorists. They should join ISIS, the brutality is the same. “Mohamed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teenager who was kidnapped and murdered on Wednesday in a suspected revenge killing by Israeli extremists, was burned alive after suffering a head injury, the Palestinian attorney general has claimed The allegation is said to be based on… Read more »