Israeli Defence Minister says he wants justice for Duma fire victims

Dawabsheh following the attack

Dawabsheh following the attack

Much of the world was shocked by the reports of the arson attack in the West Bank village of Duma in July, which saw 18-month old Ali Dawabsheh burn to death, his mother Reham and his father Saad later die of their injuries and his 4-year-old brother Ahmed sustain severe burns. The attack is thought to be an act of Israeli settler violence.

At the time, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack as a “terror attack”, stating “Israel deals harshly with terrorism, no matter who the perpetrator.”

And this Sunday (27th September) Moshe Ya’alon, the Israeli Defence Minister, declared that the Israeli government knows the culprits of the firebomb attack and insists they will be brought to justice. He told Israel’s Army Radio:

“We know which group is responsible for the despicable murder of the family in the village of Duma. We do not have enough evidence to put people to trial at this point, but I am convinced we will have them in the future.”

Unfortunately, we at the Liberal Democrat Friends Of Palestine are pessimistic that the perpetrators will truly face justice and, we cannot help but speculate, that if it was a Palestinian arson attack on an Israeli family, that those responsible would probably already be feeling the full force Israel’s wrath.

Graffiti in the torched Dawabsheh home, saying "revenge" in Hebrew.

Graffiti in the torched Dawabsheh home, saying “revenge” in Hebrew.

However, we whole-heartedly support the Israeli Defence Minister’s words and do sincerely hope his intentions are true and that 4-year-old Ahmed, who has lost his entire family, soon knows justice. But we put it to the Israeli government that they themselves are not without blame for the deaths of Ali, Reham and Saad. Since the Oslo peace according in 1993 Israeli settlers have tripled and the West Bank has been transformed by a military presence, attempting to enforce and protect Israel’s colonisation of the area.

Israeli human rights organisation, Yesh Din, found that between 2005 and 2014 that 7.4% of complaints by Palestinians about Israeli settler attacks resulted in an indictment by Israeli police, compare that to the 99.7% conviction rate for Palestinians charged with all crime.

We reiterate that we do hope that the perpetrators of this act are punished, but we must declare that until the Israeli government’s culture towards illegal settlers becomes much less accommodating, 18-month-old Ahmed, his mum and dad, will not be the final victims of Israeli settler violence.