Israel police arrest suspects in deadly West Bank arson probe

AFP , Sunday 9 Aug 2015

A picture of 18-month-old Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh (top L), who was killed after his family's house was set to fire in a suspected attack by Jewish extremists, is seen with other pictures of his family as they are collected by a relative at the burnt house in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus July 31, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Israel arrested several suspects on Sunday in raids linked to the firebombing of a Palestinian home in the West Bank that killed an 18-month-old child and his father, police said.

The suspects were arrested in wildcat Jewish settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank as part of "the investigation into the events that occurred in Duma," the Palestinian village where the July 31 arson attack took place, police said in a statement.

It did not give the number of arrests.

Israel has pledged to crack down on settler extremists in the wake of the firebombing as well as a July 30 stabbing attack at a Jerusalem Gay Pride march that killed a 16-year-old girl and wounded five other people.

A Palestinian toddler was burned to death and three other Palestinians severely injured on Friday 31 July when their house in the occupied West Bank was set on fire by Israeli settlers.

The settlers smashed the windows of two homes in the village of Duma near Nablus and threw Molotov cocktails inside the buildings. Eighteen-month old Ali Saad Dawabsha died after sustaining serious burns as a result of the attack.

The parents of the toddler, Riham and Saad, and their other son Ahmad, were severely injured and were taken to hospital. The father died Saturday of his injuries from the attack, which triggered Palestinian protests and an international outcry.

Dawabsha's wife Riham Dawabsha and four-year-old son Ahmed are still fighting for their lives in hospital after the arson attack which killed 18-month-old Ali.

The arson in the village of Duma in the occupied West Bank drew condemnation of Israel's failure to curb violence by Israeli settlers and prompted the government to order a crackdown on extremism.

A Palestinian official told AFP that before the funeral in the Dawabshas' home village a post-mortem would be held to provide evidence for a complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The Palestinians on Monday submitted a request to the ICC to probe the firebombing and "settler terrorism".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack as "terrorism in every respect", and vowed to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

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