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Dawabsha arson suspect to be charged with murder

Dec. 31, 2015 10:06 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 31, 2015 9:46 P.M.)
Relatives of an 18-month-old Palestinian Ali Saad Dawabsha mourn next to his body (AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an ) -- A suspect in the deadly arson attack on the Palestinian Dawabsha family is expected to be charged with murder within days, Israeli media reported.

Israeli state prosecutors reportedly notified the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s court on Wednesday that an indictment would be submitted in the following five days, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The online daily added that charges against “another minor suspect” involved in the attack have yet to be decided.

Investigations into the Dawabsha arson attack have been followed closely by critics who in the past have criticized Israel for allowing Israelis to carrying out attacks on Palestinians and their property with full impunity.

Suspected Israeli extremists affiliated with a Jewish terror organization on July 31 set a Palestinian home ablaze in the West Bank village of Duma, burning alive an 18-month-old. The infant's parents later died from severe burns, leaving 4-year-old Ahmad Dawabsha the only survivor of the attack.

Local witnesses saw two suspects at the scene at the time of the attack, both of whom fled to a nearby settlement after setting the home ablaze.

Several suspects were detained in November however the majority of information on those arrested still remains under a gag order requested by the Israeli police.

Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet came under fire earlier this month from far-right groups alleging that the agency used torture during investigations into the suspects.

Israeli leadership has largely defended the agency, who in the wake of the allegations released a statement warning against the growing influence of Jewish extremist groups over the Israeli government.

Haaretz reported that a suspect in the Dawabsha case taken into custody had been released on house arrest earlier this week after their suspected involvement was dropped.

Israeli police reportedly announced an indictment would be file against him for “assaulting Palestinians.” The 18-year-old suspect reportedly assaulted a Palestinian near the illegal Baladim outpost in the occupied West Bank two years ago.

Israeli settlers carried out well over 300 attacks on Palestinians and their property in 2015, according to documentation by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The oft called “price tag” attacks were labelled as acts of terrorism by the US government in 2013.

The UN reported in September that complaints lodged by Palestinians against settler attacks have a 91 percent chance of being dismissed without effective action, whereas around 95 percent of settler complaints against Palestinians proceed to court.
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