Israel Indicts Jewish Extremists in Toddler's Death

July firebombing killed 18-month-old, parents
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2016 6:33 AM CST
Israel Indicts Jewish Extremists in Toddler's Death
In this July 31, 2015 file photo, a Palestinian inspects a house after it was torched, killing an 18-month-old Palestinian child and his parents.   (Majdi Mohammed)

Israel on Sunday indicted two Jewish extremists in a July arson attack on a Palestinian home that killed a toddler and his parents—a case that has been unsolved for months and helped fuel the current wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence. The long-awaited indictment follows months of investigations into a web of Jewish extremists in the West Bank. The indictment named Amiram Ben-Uliel, a 21-year-old West Bank settler, as the main suspect. A minor was charged as an accessory. Yinon Reuveni, 20, and another minor were charged for other violence against Palestinians. All four were charged with belonging to a terrorist organization. The arson attack in the West Bank village of Duma killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, while his mother, Riham, and father, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali's 4-year-old brother Ahmad survived.

The firebombing, carried out at night while the family slept, sparked soul-searching among Israelis. Israel has authorized a series of steps, including holding suspects without charge—a tactic typically used against Palestinian militants. Palestinians cite the Duma incident as a factor in a three-month wave of attacks that has killed 21 Israelis and at least 131 Palestinians. The indictment said Ben-Uliel admitted spraying graffiti on the Dawabsheh home and tossing a firebomb through a bedroom window before fleeing. Ben-Uliel's parents said he was tortured during interrogation. Nasser Dawabsheh, Saad's brother, said the indictments are not enough. "It's clear there was an organization behind this crime," he said. "And the government was not serious in preventing it and is not serious in pursuing the killers." (More Israel stories.)

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