Jewish Suspects in Duma Firebombing Arrested

August 9, 2015

2 min read

After the second victim of a firebombing attack on a Palestinian home succumbed to his wounds, Israeli police raided several Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and detained nine people suspected of being involved in the attack.

The attack took place on July 31, when two homes located in the Palestinian village of Duma were set on fire with Molotov cocktails. An 18-month-old child was killed, and three more family members were hospitalized with severe burns. On Saturday, the child’s father, Sa’ad Dawabsha, succumbed to his wounds and died in the hospital.

His funeral was attended by thousands, many of whom called for reprisal attacks against Israeli. His wife and four-year-old son remain in the hospital in critical condition.

Right-wing Jewish extremists are suspected to be behind the arson attack.

There was an immediate outcry against violence among Israeli and Jewish leaders. President of Israel Reuven Rivlin expressed shame “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. Their path is not our path. Their path is not the path of the State of Israel, or of the Jewish People.”

Protests and rallies were held throughout the country to condemn the attack, and prominent rabbis spoke out against the violence. Chief Rabbi David Lau spoke movingly, saying that the attack went completely against Jewish values and faith. “In the name of what Torah, in the name of what God, does someone go and murder, do people go and burn a baby and his entire family?” he asked. “Whose Torah is this?”

Following the attack, the Israeli defense minister approved a measure to expand the use of administrative detention – detention without trial – to include Jewish extremists. Previously, it had been used only for detaining suspected Palestinian terrorists.

Early Sunday morning, Israeli police and agents of the Shin Bet, Israel’s security forces, raided several settlements in Judea and Samaria and detained at least nine suspects. The arrests were carried out by a unit which handles nationalistic crime as part of the Israeli investigation into the attack.

The settlements visited by the security forces included Adei Ad, which lies several kilometers from Duma, and, according to the right-wing legal aid organization Honenu, the Kohav Hashahar settlement and the nearby Givat Habaladim settlement, both in the region of Duma.

Full details of the raids were under a gag order and the names of the arrested suspects were not released. According to initial reports after the firebombing attack, police believe that the perpetrators of the attack may have set out for Duma from nearby settlements.

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