The father of an 18 month-old Palestinian boy who died last week after an attack on his home in the West Bank village of Duma has also died, from injuries he sustained in the same attack. Their home was firebombed by Jewish extremists in the early morning hours of July 31; in addition to these two deaths the family’s wounded mother and 4-year-old boy remain in hospital.
The Israeli government said it intends to crackdown on Jewish militants but while suspects in the firebombing have been detained for questioning, there have been no arrests. More often the culprits in such attacks get away with their crime. The Palestinian Authority condemned both the attack and the Israeli government’s response and Hamas escalated tension in the area by vowing revenge.
Family members of the father who died, Saed Dawabsheh, said they were informed early Saturday by an official from Israel’s Soroka Medical Center, where he was being treated, that Saed had died. A funeral was held that same day and it was attended by hundreds, marching and holding Hamas flags and chanting for justice. There was some stone-throwing and minor clashes with the IDF at Saed’s funeral, but there were no injuries reported.
Saed’s son, Ali Dawabsheh, was buried last week.
Since the firebombing, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a statement against such attacks. They are often made by Jewish militants protesting Israeli court-ordered tearing down of Jewish-built buildings in the West Bank that are deemed to have been illegally put up; one such building was recently torn down.
“We will not accept terror from any side,” Netanyahu said in a statement. Last week Netanyahu visited the Dawabsheh mother in the hospital and told her and other family members that he would stop at nothing to find those responsible. However, Hamas said they do not believe the Israeli government is making a meaningful effort to do so.
A spokesman for Hamas, Hossam Badra, said that Palestinians “cannot wait until they come into our villages and our homes…our people in the West Bank have only one choice: that of open and comprehensive confrontation against the occupation.”
The Dawabsheh’s small brick and mortar home was completely destroyed by the attack. The Jewish Star of David was spray-painted on a wall left standing and the words “revenge” and “long live the Messiah” were written upon it.