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Father of Toddler Killed in West Bank Arson Dies

  • VOA News

Palestinian men pray over the body of Saed Dawabsha, the father of a Palestinian toddler killed last week when their home was firebombed by suspected Jewish extremists, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Duma, Aug. 8, 2015.

Palestinian men pray over the body of Saed Dawabsha, the father of a Palestinian toddler killed last week when their home was firebombed by suspected Jewish extremists, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Duma, Aug. 8, 2015.

The father of a Palestinian toddler killed in a firebomb attack on their home last week has died of his injuries, his family and the hospital where he was receiving care said Saturday.

Suspected Jewish extremists are accused in the July 31 pre-dawn attack, in which assailants hurled firebombs into a bedroom of Saed Dawabsheh's home in the West Bank village of Duma.

His 18-month-old son, Ali, died in the fire. Saed Dawabsheh, his wife and their 4-year-old son were seriously injured in the attack.

Dawabsha's wife, Riham, and 4-year-old Ahmed are still being treated at another Israeli hospital.

Third-degree burns

A spokeswoman for Israel's Soroka Medical Center, where Saed Dawabsheh had been receiving treatment, said he died early on Saturday. He had suffered third-degree burns in the fire.

Hundreds of mourners reportedly gathered for Dawabsheh's funeral Saturday afternoon and Israeli Defense Forces were positioned along the route of the funeral procession, to prevent any violence breaking out.

After news of Dawabsheh's death, Hamas call for "confrontation" with Israel, according to the French news agency AFP.

"Nothing will stop these murderous settler attacks and ... we cannot wait until they come into our villages and our homes," Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran wrote on Facebook from his base in Qatar Saturday, according to AFP.

"Our people in the West Bank have only one choice: that of open and comprehensive confrontation against the occupation," his posting said.

Israeli public radio reported that the army was on the alert for possible unrest in the West Bank and for "Palestinian revenge attacks."

The United Nations called on both sides to work together for calm.

Israel's government

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had described the firebombing as an act of terrorism.

Netanyahu's security cabinet has come under growing pressure to crack down on violent far-right Jewish groups since the attack, and the government decided to allow harsher interrogations of suspected Jewish militants with methods once reserved for Palestinian detainees.

His government also said it would start detaining citizens suspected of political violence against Palestinians without a trial, another practice previously used only on Palestinian suspects.

Several suspected Jewish extremists have been detained, but no one was directly accused of involvement in the attack.

Material for this report came from Reuters, AFP and AP.

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