Jewish Extremists Indicted For Deadly Arson Attack On A Family Of Palestinians

On Sunday, Israel indicted two Jewish extremists for the July deaths of a family of Palestinians that died in an arson attack on their home, CBS Newsreports.

After months of investigations into Jewish extremists operating out of the West Bank, 21-year-old Amiram Ben-Uliel was indicted as the main suspect responsible for the Palestinian's deaths. A minor was indicted as an accessory as well.

The two were indicted for an appalling attack that took place in July. Three members of a family of Palestinians living in Duma, a village in the West Bank, were killed in their home after it was firebombed in the night while they slept. Eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabsheh died in the house at the time of the attack, while his parents, Riham and Saad, died from their injuries later on. The only surviving member from the family of Palestinians was four-year-old Ahmad.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that there would be "zero tolerance" in the quest to bring to justice those responsible for the the deaths of baby Ali and his parents. This unrelenting policy was put into action early on when several who were suspected of committing the arson attack were held without being charged.

Jewish extremists indicted for attacks on Palestinians
Israeli authorities question people believed to be Jewish extremists to find those responsible for the deaths of a Palestinian family (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

Until now, the case has gone unsolved since the toddler and his parents were killed. According to Israel's Shin Bet security service, those indicted for the attack had admitted to carrying it out. The suspects said that the attack was a form of vengeance after an Israeli settler was killed by Palestinians in the previous month. The security service said that the suspects involved in the attack are a part of a Jewish extremist group who have plans to "undermine the government and sow fear among non-Jews."

Apparently, Ben-Uliel was indicted after he admitted to the attack, saying that he sprayed graffiti on the Palestinian family's home before throwing a petrol bomb through a bedroom window.

The suspect's parents believe he is innocent and was tortured into confessing during his interrogation. A lawyer for the suspect confirmed this belief when he claimed that his client had been sleep deprived and hung by his feet until he confessed.

Jewish extremists indicted for attack on Palestinians
A Palestinian man holds a picture of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh who was killed when a group of Jewish extremists firebombed his home in the night (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)

The horrifying attack has served as a driving force in the recent surge of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

In the past three months this surge of violence, called a "wave of terror" by Prime Minister Netanyahu, has resulted in the deaths of 21 Israeli citizens and soldiers, not including the recent shooting in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv by an Arab. These attacks have consisted of stabbings, shootings, and car-rammings.

In this same time period, 131 Palestinians were killed by Israelis. Ninety of these deaths were of identified assailants.

Though the men being indicted is seen as a great victory by many, there are some who believe that it isn't going to do any good. Many Palestinians believe that the government isn't doing enough to bring the perpetrators of these kinds of attacks to justice.

The brother of Saad Dawabsheh is one of these people. He believes that it isn't enough to have the suspects indicted.

"It's clear the Israeli institutions are not serious. It's clear there was an organization behind this crime, even the media knows that. And the government was not serious in preventing it and is not serious in pursuing the killers."
Having the suspects indicted was applauded, however, by the Yesha council, which is made up of a group of settlements in the West Bank.
"It is now clear that these acts were perpetrated by a fringe group of anarchists bent on destroying the State of Israel and the freedom and justice that it represents."
The indicted suspects are allegedly members of a Jewish extremist group known as the "hilltop youth," a group of young extremists who set up camp on the hilltops of the West Bank and attack Palestinians.

(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)