A 18-month-old Palestinian boy, Ali Darawshe, died in an arson attack in the Duma, occupied West Bank, early Friday morning, according to the Israeli military, with Jewish extremists suspected because of Hebrew graffiti sprayed nearby. “Revenge!” was written on one wall.
The mother of the slain child was being treated for burns on 90 percent of her body, hospital officials told NBC News. Israeli officials named the slain child as Ali Dawabsha and said his four-year-old brother was in intensive care.
According to police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the “Price Tag” slogan used in the past by extremist Israelis was daubed on the walls of the family home that had been torched in the village of Duma, which is located near the West Bank city of Nablus.
“This is a suspected attack with nationalist motives, ” Samri said. It was the worst attack by Israeli extremists since a Palestinian teen was burned to death in a retribution slaying for three Israelis killed about a year ago.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned by this statement:
“I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are. I have ordered the security forces to use all means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers and bring them to justice forthwith. The Government of Israel is united in its strong opposition to such deplorable and awful acts. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I would like to share in the sorrow of the family of Ali Darawshe and wish a quick recovery to the family members who were injured.”
President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Friday), reached out to the Israeli Arab and Palestinian populations through the Arabic media, to express his disgust and deep shock at the arson terror attack which occurred this morning in Duma. Following consultations with the political and security leadership, the President called for restraint and warned against acts of violence following the attack. Later today, President Rivlin will visit the injured at Tel Hashomer hospital
In his message to the Arab community, the President said, “We awoke this morning to a day of sorrow. The murder of Ali Dawabsha, a baby asleep in his crib, and the serious injuries of the members of his family, his brothers, his father, and his mother who is fighting for her life, cuts at the heart of all of us.
“I feel a sense of shame, “, says the president, “and moreover a sense of 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. Their path is not our path. Their path is not the path of the State of Israel, or of the Jewish People. To my great sorrow, until now it seems we have been lax in our treatment of the phenomena of Jewish terrorism.
“Perhaps”‘ says president Rivlin, “we did not internalize that we are faced with a determined and dangerous, ideological group, which aims to destroy the fragile bridges which we work so tirelessly to build. I believe that the more we understand this significant danger to the State of Israel, the more we will be aware to confront it, and uproot it.
“In the face of a wave of terror against the innocent, the loss of life, and the loss of law and order, the State of Israel and Israeli society must carry some soul searching. Introspection that will find expression not just in words but in action. Israel’s leadership, across the political spectrum, must express clearly not only their condemnation of this terrorism, but their genuine commitment to confront violence and racism, recognizing our commitment to an adherence to the values of the law and of democracy, respect for the courts, and respect for our fellow man as created in God’s image.
“At these painful moments, I turn to the Arab citizens of Israel, and the Palestinian people, to all law abiding citizens, and ask that you do not succumb to the shock and anger. This is a time to join together. The law enforcement and the legal system will find the murderers, and bring them to justice. We must allow the law enforcement services to carry out the task bestowed upon them, and be aware not to be drawn into needless acts of violence. Taking the law into one’s own hands, and submitting to acts of violence is to award a prize to the terrorists. Despite the pain and the sorrow, we must continue to believe in our ability to build bridges of coexistence, or a shared existence. We must not let terror win.”