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2 Israelis Indicted in Palestinian Arson Case

  • Robert Berger

Israeli women, friends and relatives of two Jewish citizens who, according to Israel Radio, were indicted for a July 31 arson attack, walk together outside a courtroom at the District court in Lod, central Israel, Jan. 3, 2016.

Israeli women, friends and relatives of two Jewish citizens who, according to Israel Radio, were indicted for a July 31 arson attack, walk together outside a courtroom at the District court in Lod, central Israel, Jan. 3, 2016.

Israel says it has broken up a “Jewish terror” cell responsible for a deadly attack on a Palestinian family.

An Israeli court has indicted two Jewish militants for an arson attack on a Palestinian home last July that killed a toddler and his parents. The assailants allegedly threw firebombs into the West Bank home as the family slept.

The indictment said the suspects were members of a Jewish “terrorist organization.” They were identified as a 21-year-old West Bank settler and a minor.

The Israeli Justice Ministry said two other Israeli males were indicted for other terrorist activities against Arabs and their property.

Relatives of 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha, who died after his house was set on fire by Jewish settlers, mourn next to his body lying at a mosque during his funeral in the West Bank village of Duma, July 31, 2015.

Relatives of 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha, who died after his house was set on fire by Jewish settlers, mourn next to his body lying at a mosque during his funeral in the West Bank village of Duma, July 31, 2015.

'Zero tolerance'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed “zero tolerance” for Jewish terrorism.

He told the Cabinet that Israel is a state of law that will enforce the law against all perpetrators of violence and murder.

Nevertheless, Palestinians believe the case exhibits an Israeli double standard: They say Palestinian assailants are quickly apprehended by Israeli security forces, while Jewish militants have carried out attacks for years with virtual impunity.

But Hussein Dawabsheh, the grandfather of the slain Palestinian toddler, says the indictment is a step in the right direction.

Dawabsheh told Israel Radio he is happy that two of the perpetrators were indicted and he is hoping for additional arrests.

The question is whether the indictments will ease tensions on the ground. The arson incident is widely seen as a catalyst for a wave of almost daily Palestinian attacks on Israelis over the past four months that has shown no sign of letting up.

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