Diplomacy & defense

The Dawabshe family home following an arson attack that murdered three family members, Duma, West Bank
The July 2015 arson attack killed three members of the Dawabshe family

The trial in one of the most high-profile recent cases of Jewish terrorism in Israel opened in the Lod District Court on Wednesday morning, bringing the episode to a stage that many doubted it would reach.

Eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe was killed in an arson attack on the Dawabshe family home in July 2015, with his parents, Saad and Reham Dawabshe, later succumbing to their wounds in hospital. The suspects in the murders, Amiram Ben-Uliel and a minor who cannot be named, are both settlers who lived in illegal outposts at the time of the attack.

On Wednesday, friends and relatives of both the victims and the accused arrived at the courthouse in order to show their support. Clashes broke out between the two families, according to local media, with tearful scenes playing out as the suspects filed into the courtroom.

During one confrontation outside the courtroom, Ben-Uliel's wife told members of the Dawabshe family "you've proved you're terrorists."

The Dawabshe family members were accompanied by demonstrators who held up posters with photos of the victims.

The investigation into the Duma arson attack appeared to stall for several months after the incident, with a number of known Jewish right-wing extremists put under administrative detention immediately after the attack without being charged or put on trial.

Ynet

The original round of arrests did not, however, include either of the individuals who have ultimately been brought to trial for the Dawabshe murders.

Last December, the Shin Bet suddenly announced that a breakthrough in the investigation had been made. Details of who had been arrested and on what charges took time to filter out in Israel due to a sweeping gag order imposed on the case, although foreign media began publishing details shortly after the arrests.

The Shin Bet investigation into the arson attack took on broader dimensions, turning into a widespread examination of Jewish terrorism and uncovering a loose network of radical Jewish "hilltop youth" in the West Bank. The group, who dubbed themselves "HaMered" ("The Revolt"), and who were responsible for a number of similar "price tag" attacks both inside the West Bank and in Israel proper, has seen several members arrested over recent months.

The group's members were also allegedly behind a number of other arson attacks, details of which emerged in a string of indictments filed against "price tag" activists in January 2016.

The Shin Bet also announced that it was the intention of "The Revolt" to violently overthrow the Israeli government, in order to replace it with a Davidic monarchy, crowning a leader that would rule over a Jewish kingdom — harking back to the Biblical time when David ruled over the kingdom of Judah.

The investigation was not, however, without controversy. In addition to the use of administrative detention — criticized by many as a civil rights violation — suspects interrogated by the Shin Bet also alleged that they were tortured.

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The allegations caused an outcry in Israel and prompted demonstrations by settlers outside the homes of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is widely seen as the settlers' main representative in the Israeli government.

The accusations provoked a rare public statement from the Shin Bet, denying that it had broken the law and saying that its interrogation methods had been authorized by the Attorney General at the time, Yehuda Weinstein.

The sole survivor of the attack on the Dawabshe family home, five-year-old Ahmed, remains in hospital recovering from severe burns.

2 Comments

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  • Michael Farmer
    March 02nd 2016 - 10:33pm

    James Spackman
    March 02nd 2016 - 02:28pm
    "less than 9 months have passed since these murders were committed..The wheels of Israeli justice turn very quickly dont they Mr Muslim? Unlike the wheels of justice for jews who have been murdered by muslims"

    The Jewish killers of the young Palestinian burnt to death have only just been judged almost TWO YEARS since their arrest and confession. Thus far only two have recently been sentenced, the third has STILL to receive a sentence.

    The alleged killers of the three young Israeli boys received their justice within three weeks being chased, surrounded and executed by the IDF.

    Missed that did you, James?


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  • James Spackman
    March 02nd 2016 - 02:28pm

    less than 9 months have passed since these murders were committed..The wheels of Israeli justice turn very quickly dont they Mr Muslim?
    Unlike the wheels of justice for jews who have been murdered by muslims..take for instance the following..

    How slowly the wheels of muslim justice turn when it comes to muslims who butcher innocent jews.....


    Who are contaminating Islamic holy sites Palestinians: Why Our Leaders Are Hypocrites and Liars
    by Bassam Tawil
    October 4, 2015 at 5:00 am
    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6618/palestinian-leaders-liars


    We contaminate our mosques with our own hands and feet, and then blame Jews for desecrating Islamic holy sites. If anyone is desecrating Islamic holy sites, it is those who bring explosives, stones and firebombs into Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jews who visit the Temple Mount do not bring with them stones, bombs or clubs. It is young Muslim men who are desecrating our holy sites with their "filthy feet."

    These leaders, including Abbas himself, are not willing to send their own children and grandchildren to participate in the "popular struggle." They are fully responsible for sending the children of others to throw stones and firebombs at Jews. Sitting in their luxurious offices and villas in Ramallah, they demand that Israel be held responsible for cracking down on "innocent" Palestinians. Their main goal is to embarrass Israel and depict it as a state that takes tough measures against Palestinian teenagers.

    These youths are not taking to the streets to fight "occupation." Their main goal is to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to Jews. When someone tosses a firebomb at a house or a car, his intention is to burn civilians alive.

    It is as if our leaders are saying that throwing stones and firebombs at Jews in their cars and homes is a basic right of Palestinians. Our leaders believe Israel has no right to defend itself against those who seek to burn Jews driving in their vehicles or sleeping inside their homes.

    While Hamas and Islamic Jihad are continuing to exploit our teenagers in the Gaza Strip by training them to join the jihad against Jews and "infidels," our leaders in the West Bank are committing a similar crime against Palestinian youths.

    The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who falsely describes himself as President of the State of Palestine, has been encouraging our teenagers to engage in the so-called "popular resistance" against Israel. But these leaders, including Abbas himself, are not willing to send their own children and grandchildren to participate in the "popular struggle." As usual, our leaders want the children of others to take to the streets and throw stones and firebombs at Jews.

    The "popular struggle" that the PA leadership is spearheading these days is anything but peaceful. In some instances, it has even proved to be lethal. Recently, Alexander Levlovich was killed after losing control of his vehicle in Jerusalem. Investigations showed that at least four Arab youths had pelted his car with stones, causing Levlovich to hit a tree.

    During the past few months, hundreds of Palestinian teenagers from Jerusalem have been arrested for throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli vehicles. These teenagers have offered various explanations as to why they decided to take part in the "popular resistance" against Israel. Most of them said they wanted to protest against visits by Jews to the Temple Mount -- an act described by our leaders as a "contamination" of Islamic holy sites. Mahmoud Abbas, who is by no means a devout Muslim, recently accused Jews of desecrating Al-Aqsa Mosque with their "filthy feet."

    Abbas and other senior figures in the Palestinian Authority leadership have also been issuing daily threats against Israel in response to perfectly peaceful visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. One of them, Mahmoud Habbash, even went as far as announcing that the visits by Jews to the Temple Mount would ignite a third world war.

    It is this type of incitement that prompts our youths to hurl stones and firebombs at Jews. These youths are not taking to the streets to fight "occupation." Their main goal is to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to Jews. Otherwise, how does one explain the fact that Palestinian teenagers have thrown dozens of firebombs at Jewish homes in the Old City? When someone tosses a firebomb at a house or a car, his intention is to burn civilians alive.

    Our leaders, who are fully responsible for sending these teenagers to throw stones and firebombs at Jews, are sitting in their luxurious offices and villas in Ramallah and rubbing their hands with deep satisfaction. Abbas and several Palestinian leaders in the West Bank would like to see our youths rioting on the streets of Jerusalem and in the Temple Mount's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, so that they can hold Israel responsible for cracking down on "innocent" Palestinians. Their main goal is to embarrass Israel and depict it as a state that takes tough measures against Palestinian teenagers, whose only fault is participation in "popular resistance."

    After having incited our youths to engage in violence against Jews, our hypocritical leaders are now rushing to condemn new Israeli measures against stone-throwers. It is as if our leaders are saying that throwing stones and firebombs at Jews in cars and homes is a basic right of Palestinians.

    One of the loudest hypocrites is Saeb Erekat, the veteran Palestinian negotiator who was recently elected Secretary-General of the PLO. Erekat, who never dispatched his sons and daughters to throw stones and firebombs at Jews, was quoted this week condemning Israel's newly approved measures against Palestinian stone-throwers. He described these measures as "inhumane" and part of Israeli "incitement" against Palestinians.

    Neither Erekat nor his boss, Mahmoud Abbas, has denounced the violence by Palestinians against Jews. The only time they issue condemnations is when Israel arrests teenagers for throwing stones and firebombs. Our leaders believe Israel has no right to defend itself against those who seek to burn Jews driving in their vehicles or sleeping inside their homes.

    If anyone is desecrating Islamic holy sites, it is those who bring explosives, stones and firebombs into Al-Aqsa Mosque in the first place. For the past few months, dozens of Palestinian youths have used the mosque as a launching pad for attacking Jewish visitors and policemen on the Temple Mount. The Jews who visit the site do not bring with them stones, firebombs and clubs. It is young Muslim men who are desecrating our holy sites with their "filthy feet."

    Such reports show that Muslims have no respect for their religious sites. The images of masked youths inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, collecting stones for attacking Jews, also reveal the true intentions of the rioters and those behind them: to harm Jewish visitors and policemen, who anyway have no plans to enter the mosque.


    Palestinian Arab young men with masks, inside Al-Aqsa Mosque (some wearing shoes), stockpile rocks to use for throwing at Jews who visit the Temple Mount, September 27, 2015.
    We contaminate our mosques with our own hands and feet and then blame Jews for desecrating Islamic holy sites. Not only are we lying, but we are also displaying the highest level of hypocrisy and impudence. We plan and initiate the violence on the Temple Mount and elsewhere and then we run to complain to the world that Israel is arresting our youths "for no reason."

    It is obvious that our leaders are once again leading us toward a catastrophe. They want our children to get hurt or killed so that they can go to the United Nations and complain that Israel is using "excessive force" against the Palestinians. Our leaders, of course, do not tell the world that they are the ones inciting these young men to take to the streets and attack the first Jew they run into. Nor do they tell the world that it is Muslims, and not Jews, whthrough their violent act o are contaminating Islamic holy sites Palestinians


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