Home of witness in tragic Duma arson attack, fire-bombed

Home of witness in tragic Duma arson attack, fire-bombed
A key witness in an arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists in the West Bank which killed three people has seen his house set ablaze.
2 min read
20 March, 2016
Palestinians inspect the damage inside Ibrahim Dawabsheh's burnt-out house [Getty]
The home of a key Palestinian witness in last year's Duma arson-attack has been targeted in a arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists early Sunday.

Attackers smashed the bedroom window of Ibrahim Dawabsheh's home and threw two firebombs into the building.

The house caught fire within seconds, a Palestinian official said.

Dawabsheh and his wife escaped without injuries, but his wife suffered from smoke inhalation.

Israeli forces said the cause of the fire remains unknown.

Dawabsheh, a relative and neighbour of last year's slain family, is a key witness to the infamous arson-attack that killed a Palestinian couple and their 18 month-old baby.

The 4-year old son of the killed couple was the only survivor  of the fire bomb attack in the West Bank village of Duma.

But the boy sustained burns in most of his body.

Two Jewish extremists were subsequently arrested by Israeli authorities and are now set to stand trial.
Jewish extremists protest outside the Lod District Court in January where two Israelis were tried for the murder of the Dawabsheh couple and their toddler [Getty]

The witness Ibrahim Dawabsheh recalled the horrific images he saw when he ran to the burning house the night of 31 July last year, after hearing cries for help.

"I saw [the couple] burning on the ground," he told Israeli daily Haartez, "Next to them were two masked men. Their faces were covered with a balaclava, with only their mouths and eyes visible."

Investigators placed several suspects under "administrative detention", a measure typically reserved for alleged Palestinian attackers that allows authorities to hold suspects for months without charge.

But as the investigation dragged on for months, Palestinians complained of double-standards.

They argued that suspected Palestinian attackers are quickly rounded up and prosecuted under a military legal system that gives them few rights.

Meanwhile Jewish Israelis are protected by the country's criminal laws.

Amiram Ben-Uliel, a 21-year-old West Bank settler, is one of the two suspects charged with murder.

Ben-Uliel and other alleged accomplices are part of a movement known as the "hilltop youth", a leaderless group of young people who set up outposts, usually clusters of trailers, on West Bank hilltops.

The "hill-top" youth has further been accused of carrying out so-called "price tag" attacks.

These include the regular vandalisim of Palestinian property, as well as mosques and churches.

Agencies contributed to this report.