When will this cold-blooded killing of Palestinians end?

When will this cold-blooded killing of Palestinians end?
The killing of toddler Ali Saad Dawabsheh by Jewish settlers sparked global shock, with many taking to social media to express their outrage at the murder of yet another Palestinian.
3 min read
03 Aug, 2015
The Dawabsheh family's home was set on fire in the early hours of Friday [Getty]

On Friday, Ali Saad Dawabsheh was peacefully sleeping in his family home in the village of Duma near the northern city of Nablus, West Bank, when Jewish extremists set fire to it.

The 18-month-old burnt to death. When found, his body was beyond recognition. 

Let his age just sink in for a moment.

Ali's parents and four-year-old brother Ahmad, were also wounded in the attack.

Ahmad remains in critical condition in hospital, suffering from burns on 60 percent of his body.

The suspects, who fled the scene, scribbled graffiti on the walls reading: Long live the Messiah, revenge and price tag, as well as a Jewish star of David.

The arson attack drew condemnation worldwide, and rightly so.

The European Union called for "zero tolerance" for settler violence.

The UN Security Council condemned "the vicious terrorist attack," and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the attack a "war crime" and said the Palestinians would present it to the International Criminal Court as part of their case against Israel.

That is in addition to the already pending Israeli war crimes committed during the Gaza war of 2014, where 540 Palestinian children were killed and 3,053 injured.

Friday's terrorist attack is a heinous crime, there is no doubt about it. But condemning it is not enough. How many more children must continue to suffer in such brutal ways before Israel is shamed?

Many took to Twitter to compare the coverage - or rather lack of coverage - of Ali's death to that of Cecil the lion, one of Africa’s most famous lions who was shot dead by an American dentist earlier last week, while others expressed their sadness, anger and disbelief over the horrific crime:

The attack against the Dawabsheh family is not the first and sadly, nor will it be the last.

Israeli extremists have for years staged such assaults against Palestinian properties in "revenge" or "price tag" offensives.

However, many critics believe Israel has not done enough to quell the assaults.

The Israeli Prime Minister commented on Friday's crime, calling it an "act of terrorism" while Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said such attacks "would not be tolerated" - but the actual reality is that extremist settlers are rarely brought to justice.

Many have accused Netanyahu's government of failing to address the problem of Jewish extremism and of going dangerously far in its support for right-wing settler groups.

On Sunday, the Israeli government approved "strict" new measures against Jewish extremists to help curb "fanaticism and terrorism” - but whether this is put into practice and how effective it really is, only time will tell.

Since August 2012, Jewish settlers have set around nine Palestinian homes on fire.

Since the start of this year, at least 30 Palestinian children have been shot and wounded by the Israeli military in the West Bank, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) has found.

“Children are consistently the victims of these persistent and unrestricted attacks at the hands of Jewish extremists,” DCIP's Khaled Quzmar said.

But yet, where is the outcry? Where is the justice? When will this cold-blooded killing of Palestinians end?

Over the weekend, relatives scraped through the ash and soot to salvage any belongings inside the torched home.

They found a partly burnt photograph of the murdered baby and his bottle, still one-third full of milk.

"I never imagined that this could happen, that someone could come and burn people alive while they are sleeping," Hassan Dawabsheh, Ali's uncle, said.

"I don't know what those people were thinking. What do they have inside their hearts and minds?"