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Palestinian Baby Burned to Death in West Bank Settler Attack

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Israel, Palestine, Breaking News, Human Rights, War & Conflict
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 [1]]

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 [2].

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 [3] 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 [4] 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 [28] on Palestinian civilians. There has been 120 attacks this year alone [29]. There were 340 arson attacks [30] 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 [31], up to 92.6% [32] 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%.