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US slams 'vicious terrorist attack' that killed Palestinian baby

AFP , Friday 31 Jul 2015
West Bank
Mourners carry the body of 18-month-old Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh, who was killed after his family's house was set on fire in a suspected attack by Jewish extremists in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus July 31, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

The United States on Friday condemned what it said was a "vicious terrorist attack" after suspected Israeli settlers burned Palestinian homes and killed an 18-month-old baby.

A statement from the US State Department urged Israel to "apprehend the murderers" and called on both sides to "avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this tragic incident."

Earlier, a gang had firebombed two homes in the village of Duma in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, wounding four family members and killing baby Ali Saad Dawabsha.

The family's small home was blackened and gutted by fire and a Star of David along with "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" was spray-painted in Hebrew on the walls.

Protests quickly erupted among the Palestinian community, and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack "an act of terrorism in every respect."

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington "condemns in the strongest possible terms last night's vicious terrorist attack in the Palestinian village of Duma.

"We convey our profound condolences to the Dawabsha family and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured," he added.

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