The murderers of Ali Dawabsheh leave trail of evidence

The murderers of Ali Dawabsheh leave trail of evidence
The killers of Ali Dawabsheh, the Palestinian toddler murdered in an arson attack by Israelis, left a trail of evidence that in other justice systems would have led to arrests.
4 min read
06 August, 2015
Only attacks against Israeli targets are taken seriously [Getty]

"Stock up with a petrol bomb, preferably of a litre and a half; a lighter; gloves; a mask; a crowbar/hammer; a bag to carry it all. When you get to the village, search for a house with an open door or window without bars. Light the petrol bomb and throw it against the door to prevent them [the Palestinians] from escaping."

These are not the confessions of the terrorists who set fire to the Dawabsheh family home, which killed 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsheh, but instructions found in the possession of a Jewish extremist arrested in Tel Aviv last week.

The instruction document publicized by Israel's internal security agency, Shin Bet, reveals the way in which 15 other attacks took place in a similar manner to the attack against the Dawabsheh home.

How the attack unfolded

Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian Authority's officer in charge of the settlement file in the northern West Bank said the information gathered after the attack confirms that the perpetrators snuck into the West Bank village of Duma with the intention of attacking two houses, however one of their target houses was empty.

The head of the Duma village council, Abdul Salam Allan, who rushed to the scene of the deadly attack shorty after it took place, corroborated this information.

     They did not choose an easy target but a target that would lead to human causalities

"The attackers passed by an empty house and did not attack it and then passed by another house that was surrounded by a wall and also did not attack it. They did not choose an easy target but a target that would lead to human causalities. That's why they attacked a single story house which had a street facing bedroom window," Allan told al-Araby al-Jadeed.

"They broke the window and threw a firebomb that contained a substance more flammable than petrol, because the whole house was on fire within two minutes," he added.

Allan and an eyewitness who wished to remain anonymous said that there were two masked attackers who were seen fleeing towards the main road minutes after the attack.

Israeli investigations revealed by Israel's Channel 2 TV also confirms that there were two perpetrators who fled towards the illegal Esh Kodesh Israeli settlement.

Small suspect pool

Al-Araby al-Jadeed visited the main road used by the attackers, which is covered by Israeli security cameras attached to electric poles on either end.

Israeli investigators suspect the attackers fled to the Esh Kodesh settlement that is occupied by approximately 31 extremist Jewish families, who advocate the displacement of Palestinians, and which is guarded by Israeli soldiers.

With only one entrance leading in and out of the Esh Kodesh settlement, in addition to security cameras and a limited pool of possible suspects who could carryout the attack, the Israeli government's unwillingness to thoroughly investigate the arson against the Dawabsheh home is quite obvious.

Even other nearby settlements to which the attackers could have fled to are guarded by Israeli soldiers at the main entrances, security fences and cameras that monitor activities around the clock.

     the Israeli government's unwillingness to thoroughly investigate the arson against the Dawabsheh home is quite obvious

"Attacks by settlers against the village of Duma have increased recently. We've made repeated complaints to the Israeli army and some attacks were documented by photos that clearly show the identities of the attackers, however the Israeli army and police promised to prosecute them, but no one was brought to court," said Abdul Salam Allan, the head of the Duma village council.

Israeli negligence

Nehro Jamhour, a Palestinian expert on Israeli affairs, believes that Israeli security agencies, specifically the Shin Bet are negligent when it comes to Jewish terrorism.

"The Shin Bet is able to apprehend the perpetrators of the attack against the Dawabsheh family and the other attack, and it also able to prevent such attacks happening in the first place. In the last few years, Israeli media has revealed that the Shin Bet has agents who have infiltrated the 'Price tag' terrorist group and the leaders of West Bank settlements," said Jamhour.

Israeli security services had foiled an attack by the "Price tag" group against an Israeli police car in Jerusalem in 2006, which according to Jamhour was only because it was an Israeli target.

According to information gathered by the Israeli rights organisation Yesh Din, since 2008, "Price tag" members have launched arson attacks against 15 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, in addition to 20 mosques and churches.

Last week's arrest in Tel Aviv of a Jewish extremist accused of burning a church was the first of its kind, and only came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Shin Bet to make it a priority, which has not happened in the case of Ali Dawabsheh.