Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Palestinian toddler burnt alive in suspected settler arson attack

By Zuzana Brezinová - August 01, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Nablus] [settler violence] [price tag]

A series of violent clashes marked the past two days in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem following Israeli settlers’ arson attack on a family home in the Nablus village of Duma, early Friday morning.


According to local eye witnesses, Israeli settlers smashed a home’s windows and threw flammable liquids and Molotov cocktails inside, setting the building on fire. An 18-month-old toddler, Ali Dawabsha, died trapped in the burning house.


Ali’s older brother Ahmed and both of his parents survived the arson, yet remain in a critical  condition in Israeli medical centres, where they are being treated for third-degree burns which cover 75 to 90 percent of their bodies.


Shortly after the attack, Hamas’ political bureau chief Khaled Mashal announced a “day of rage” and encouraged Palestinian resistance to, “face the occupation and their crimes with all their force and by all means necessary,” an official statement reads.


The Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas pledged to take the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and add it to the file of complaints documenting Israeli war crimes in the 2014 Gaza War.


The PA holds the Israeli government fully responsible for the arson, for as long as, “the Israeli government encourages settlements everywhere, they're also encouraging these thugs to carry out these attacks. This is a war crime and a tragedy for all of us,” Palestinian President Abbas said in statement.


Minutes after the news leaked, cities across the West Bank in protest.


Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces were reported in the southern West Bank city of Hebron where hundreds of locals marched in the streets holding signs condemning the attack and calling for an immediate retaliation.


Unrest also marked the funeral march for Ali Dawabsha in Duma near Nablus where Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces.


Israeli authorities announced increased military presence in the occupied territories effective immediately; security guards at the Al-Aqsa compound in east Jerusalem have been on high alert since early Friday morning.


Hundreds of worshippers from the West Bank were found praying in the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday after the Israeli forces imposed security restrictions on entry to Al-Aqsa and barred all men under 50 from entering the compound, Ma’an News Agency reported.


Several Palestinians sustained injuries in clashes that broke out in al-Swana, Beit Hanina, Al-Issawiyah and other parts of East Jerusalem.


In the West Bank, violent protests erupted near in Qalandiya leaving four Palestinian youths injured after the Israeli security forces intervened to attempt to pacify protests, throwing stun grenades and firing rubber-coated bullets.


Saturday morning saw the first victim of the recent wave of violence. 17-year-old Palestinian teenager, Laith al-Khadi, succumbed to his wounds in the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah where he was transported yesterday evening.


Leith al-Khadi was shot in his chest by an Israeli soldier with live ammunition at the Atara checkpoint near Ramallah during clashes with Israeli military in late Friday afternoon.


In an attempt to appease tensions, the Israeli authorities strongly condemned the attack as “an act of terrorism” and vowed to prosecute the perpetrators.


“There is zero tolerance for terrorism whatever side of the fence it comes from. We have to fight it and fight it together to give ourselves a better future - a future free of violence, free of terror, a future of peace,” said the Israeli Prime Minister on Friday.


Similarly, the Israeli president Reuven Rivlin expressed his commitment to punish the criminals saying, “We [Israelis] awoke this morning to a day of sorrow. I feel a sense of shame, and a sense of pain. We stand before them [Palestinians], and must explain that such terror is not the path of the State of Israel, or of the Jewish people. Words alone will not suffice.”


According to B’Tselem, an Israeli-based human rights NGO, "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 as backdrop to these acts," an official statement published yesterday reads.


The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also stressed that the, “continued failure to effectively address impunity for repeated acts of settler violence have led to another horrific incident involving the death of an innocent life. This must end,” he said in a press statement.


The attack is believed to be a “price tag” revenge action in response to Israeli court order to raze two illegal buildings in the Beit El settlement near the village of Duma and is considered the worst act of Israeli violence against Palestinians since last July, when a group of Jewish extremist kidnapped a 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khadeir and burnt him alive.


“This heinous murder was carried out for a political objective. We must not permit such acts to allow hate and violence to bring more personal tragedies and to bury any prospect of peace. This reinforces the need for an immediate resolution of the conflict and an end to the occupation,” said UN Envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, a statement on Friday.



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