Friday, July 31, 2015

On the murder of 18 month old Ali Saad Dawabsha

Dear friends,
by now you have probably heard about the horrible murder of 18 month old Ali Saad Dawabsha, who was burnt to death after illegal Israeli settlers firebombed the home of his sleeping family.  Ali's family are in critical condition, with his mother suffering third degree burns to 90% of her body, while his father has burns to 80% of his body and Ali's four year old brother has burns to 60% of his body.  All remain in critical danger.

In the last twenty-four hours, we have seen mealy mouth expressions of shock and condemnation from Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and other Zionist politicians.  Netanyahu and the Israeli state and Zionists who support it, however, are directly responsible for Ali's murder.

I had planned to write a blog discussing this, but this morning another friend sent me Shahd Abusalama's blog on this issue. Shahd expresses precisely the arguments I had hoped to write about, so I am going to respost the link to her blog.  I may still write on this later but for now I will simply repost Shahd's blog.

I have only included the introduction to her blog, so please click on the title to be redirected to her full blog entry. 

You can also follow Shahd on twitter at @ShahdAbusalama  

I have also included the report on Ali's death from Defence for Children International - Palestine.

With great sadness,


The burning of Palestinian toddler is a result of Zionism, not exceptional to it

By Shahd Abusalama: Palestine From My Eyes: 31 July 2015

Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha burned to death in an arson attack by Israeli Settlers
Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha burned to death in an arson attack by Israeli Settlers

Overnight on Friday, 31 July, a group of masked Jewish settlers threw firebombs through a window of the Dawabsha family house in Kufr Douma, near Nablus. They fell in the bedroom where the whole family had been sleeping peacefully, setting the house on fire. The arsonists left graffiti, reading “revenge” and “long live the Messiah”, alongside a Star of David on the walls as their footnotes to this atrocious attack. They then fled, according to local witnesses, to the illegal settlement of Ma’aleh Ephraim, where approximately 1,800 armed settlers live under the security of the Israeli occupation forces.

18-month-old Ali Dawabsha was found a charred body. The rest of the family, Ali’s parents and his four-year-old brother, survived the fire with critical injuries. The aftermath inside the house is horrifying: utter destruction and black walls, burnt clothes and photos of the family laid on the ground, among them Ali’s smiling photos and his tiny white bib reading “Good morning Mama”.

This Israeli attack is another crime in the never-ending Nakba the Palestinian people have endured since Zionism’s inception. Ali is another Mohammed Abu Khudeir, who was burnt alive by a group of settlers in Jerusalem on 2 July 2014. He is another Palestinian child falling prey to the Israeli murder machine, as Palestinians commemorate the first anniversary of Israel’s 51-day offensive on Gaza, which it called ‘Operation Protective Edge’, during the summer of 2014. Over 2,200 people were brutally killed, mostly civilians, including 551 children.



31 July, 2015 - Defence for Children International-Palestine

Ramallah, July 31, 2015—A Palestinian toddler burned to death when suspected Jewish settlers threw firebombs inside two homes in the northern West Bank village of Duma early Friday morning.

Witnesses told Defense for Children International – Palestine that two masked men smashed the windows of two homes and threw firebombs inside, setting them ablaze. One of the homes was empty, but in the other was Saad Dawabsheh’s family. The fire killed Ali Dawabsheh, 18 months, and left Saad, his wife, Riham, and their older son, Ahmad, 4, in a critical condition. The arsonists also spray-painted the words “revenge” and “Long live the Messiah king!” on the walls of the homes.

“I saw my neighbor, Saad, on the ground burning,” eyewitness Ibrahim Dawabsheh, 23, told DCIP. “And standing nearby was a person, approximately 170 centimeters (5 feet 6 inches) tall, wearing a black mask with openings for the eyes and mouth, a black shirt, and dark blue jeans.” He also saw another man, slightly taller and dressed similarly, standing near the burning body of Riham outside the home. Dawabsheh said the men looked like they were checking to see if the two victims were dead or alive. When the two men began to approach him, he ran toward his family home and called out for his brother.

The arsonists fled the scene toward the Maale Efrayim settlement – one of three settlements surrounding Duma – before residents could further identify them, Palestinian media reported.

The Israeli army confirmed the deadly attack by suspected Jewish extremists and launched a search to locate the perpetrators. “This attack against Palestinian civilians is a barbaric act of terrorism,” said Israeli army spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner in a tweet.

“Children are consistently the victims of these persistent and unrestricted attacks at the hands of Jewish extremists,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director of DCIP. “Israel’s condemnation of this heinous act rings hollow as the state’s policies have led to the climate of impunity that makes such violence possible.”

Israel approved this week plans to build 504 new settlement units in East Jerusalem and 300 in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.

Since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, it has established some 125 Jewish-only settlements that house 515,000 Israelis. The settlements are woven throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, often dividing the cities, villages and refugee camps of the 2.65 million Palestinians who live there.

According to international law, Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are illegal. Israel, however, claims religious and historical rights to the territory.

Stationed throughout the West Bank, Israeli soldiers, police and private security firms protect settler populations at the expense of Palestinian civilians. Unlike Israeli civilians living across the Green Line, Israel’s pre-1967 boundary with the West Bank, many settlers carry government-issued arms. 

This hyper-militarized environment inflicts disproportionate physical and psychological violence on Palestinian children.
Recent statistics by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that more than 2,500 settler attacks have occurred since 2006, 324 of which took place in 2014 alone.

Following incidents of settler violence, lack of justice is the norm, and not the exception. In a report published in May 2015, the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din found that Israeli police closed more than 85 percent of investigations because of failure “to locate suspects or find sufficient evidence to indict suspects.” Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli civilian attacks resulted in a conviction.

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