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PA: Israeli forces brought suspect to 'reenact' deadly attack in Duma

Dec. 20, 2015 12:06 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 21, 2015 11:47 A.M.)
A member of the Israeli security forces inspects a Palestinian house that was set on fire in the West Bank village of Duma on July 31, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces and intelligence officers overnight Saturday brought a suspect accused of involvement in an arson attack on a Palestinian family to the village of Duma in order to “reenact” the fatal crime, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern occupied West Bank, told Ma’an that locals in Duma saw Israeli forces arrive to the village around midnight.

Forces remained in the area for around three hours during which locals reported that an Israeli settler brought by the forces "reenacted the crime" which killed three members of the Dawabsha family, Daghlas said.

Investigations into the crime -- labelled by international bodies and Israeli leadership as a terrorist attack -- have been ongoing.

Suspects belonging to a Jewish terror organization on July 31 set the home of the Dawabsha family ablaze, killing 18-month-old Ali Saad immediately. The infant’s parents, Riham and Saad, later died from severe burns.

The only surviving member of the family was Ahmad, 4, who sustained serious burns.

The majority of information regarding investigations into the attack remains under a gag-order by Israeli police, however news broke on Dec. 3 that several youths connected to Jewish extremist organizations had been arrested in November and held under administrative detention.

Israel’s domestic security agency Shin Bet announced Sunday that progress had been made in the investigation, but no further details were disclosed, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

The agency recently came under fire after lawyers for the extremists -- reportedly denied access to their clients until last week -- accused the Shin Bet of using torture during interrogations.

In response, the agency cautioned against “a proactive and ongoing effort to slander the organization and its work, and to disrupt its activities” in investigating the deadly attack.

Shin Bet said in a statement Friday that activity by a Jewish terror organization had “contributed to instability in the region,” warning against the potential danger of growing influence of the group against the Israeli government.

"This organization adheres to an extreme, anti-Zionist ideology, that has set itself the goal of violently overthrowing the Israeli government," the Shin Bet said, according to to Israeli media

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi last week denounced Israel’s failure to prosecute the suspects responsible for the Dawabsha arson attack as effectively condoning violent behavior of Israeli settlers and extremists.

“When it comes to Jewish criminality or terrorism against Palestinian victims, the legal system in Israel seems to fall apart,” the PLO official said in a statement.

Contention over Israel’s failure to bring the perpetrators of last summer’s terrorist attack to justice has continued to contribute to ongoing tension in the occupied Palestinian territory.
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