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Palestinian Baby Burned to Death in West Bank Settler Attack

Graffiti reading 'revenge' and 'long live Messiah' were left on the walls of the burnt houses [Photo: Rabbis for Human Rights]

Graffiti reading ‘revenge’ and ‘long live Messiah’ were left on the walls of the burnt houses [Photo: Rabbis for Human Rights Facebook Page]

Eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned to death in his home in Duma village in the Occupied West Bank in a settler attack. His parents and four-year-old brother were also injured, with up to 75 per cent of their bodies burned, according to medics in neighboring Nablus, who spoke to Al Jazeera.

Their home was torched along with a neighbor's house by a group of settlers who left graffiti reading “revenge” and “long live Messiah” on the burned out walls. A local resident, Mesalem Daoubasah, told Haaretz he saw four settlers fleeing the scene with several local residents following them in pursuit. According to Daoubasah, the settlers fled toward the settlement of Ma'aleh Ephraim nearby.

The toddler was enveloped in a shroud and his funeral drew large crowds of supporters:

While most Israeli mainstream politicians condemned the attack, activists were quick to point out that these very politicians (and established religious leaders) are part of the problem:

Pricetag attacks by Israeli settlers in the West Bank are very common. Between 2009 and the first half of 2012, there had been up to 995 attacks on Palestinian civilians. There has been 120 attacks this year alone. There were 340 arson attacks alone between 2004 and 2011.

Of these attacks, the overwhelming majority end up without prosecution by the Israeli occupation forces. According to Israeli NGO Yesh Din, up to 92.6% of Palestinian complaints are closed without further action due to “the inability of investigators to arrest suspects or to gather enough evidence to file an indictment.” Only 7.4% of complaints lead to indictments and only a third of these resulted in a conviction. In other words, the arrest of a suspect and his judgment is 1.8%.

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