Arson terror attack in Duma, Israel vows 'zero tolerance' for Jewish extremists
President Rivlin: "This is a time to join together. The law enforcement and the legal system will find the murderers, and bring them to justice. Taking the law into one’s own hands, and submitting to acts of violence, is to award a prize to the terrorists."
PM Netanyahu to PA Chairman Abbas: "We must fight terrorism together regardless of which side it comes from."
An 18-month-old toddler, Ali Dawabsha, was killed this morning and his parents and four-year-old brother were very seriously injured when their house in the Palestinian village of Duma [south of the city of Nablus in the West Bank] was set on fire very early this morning [Friday, 31 July, 02:00 Israel time] by Molotov cocktails. An adjacent unoccupied house was also torched and graffiti in Hebrew was sprayed on the walls of a third house in the village. The injured were transported by helicopter to Israeli hospitals and are currently being treated.
Israel considers the attack an act of terrorism and is acting on the assumption that it was carried out by Israeli extremists. The IDF, Israel Police and additional security forces have launched an intensive and extensive investigation to locate the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The horrific attack on the Dawabsha family shocked the Israeli public while public figures from across the political spectrum quickly and unequivocally condemned it. Condemnations were issued by leaders of the government and opposition parties and by settler councils in the West Bank.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on arson attack against the Dawabsha family:
"Thou shalt not kill is the paramount injunction of the Ten Commandments. Judaism sanctifies life and deplores anything related to the worship of death. The taking of innocent life and the defilement of Jewish morals is an unforgiveable act of terror which we must all condemn. We must do everything so as to prevent further atrocities against innocents whoever and wherever they may be."
President Rivlin on arson terror attack in Duma
President Rivlin: "This is a time to join together. The law enforcement and the legal system will find the murderers, and bring them to justice. Taking the law into one's own hands, and submitting to acts of violence, is to award a prize to the terrorists. We are faced with a determined and dangerous, ideological group, which aims to destroy the fragile bridges which we work so tirelessly to build."
President Reuven Rivlin, reached out to the Israeli Arab and Palestinian populations through the Arabic media, to express his disgust and deep shock at the arson terror attack which occurred this morning in Duma. Following consultations with the political and security leadership, the President called for restraint and warned against acts of violence following the attack.
In his message to the Arab community, the President said, "We awoke this morning to a day of sorrow. The murder of Ali Dawabsha, a baby asleep in his crib, and the serious injuries of the members of his family, his brothers, his father, and his mother who is fighting for her life, cuts at the heart of all of us. I feel a sense of shame, and moreover a sense of pain. Pain over the murder of a small baby. Pain that from my people, there are those who have chosen the path of terrorism, and have lost their humanity. Their path is not my path. Their path is not our path. Their path is not the path of the State of Israel, or of the Jewish People. To my great sorrow, until now it seems we have been lax in our treatment of the phenomena of Jewish terrorism. Perhaps we did not internalize that we are faced with a determined and dangerous, ideological group, which aims to destroy the fragile bridges which we work so tirelessly to build. I believe that the more we understand this significant danger to the State of Israel, the more we will be aware to confront it, and uproot it.
"In the face of a wave of terror against the innocent, the loss of life, and the loss of law and order, the State of Israel and Israeli society must carry some soul searching. Introspection that will find expression not just in words but in action. Israel's leadership, across the political spectrum, must express clearly not only their condemnation of this terrorism, but their genuine commitment to confront violence and racism, recognizing our commitment to an adherence to the values of the law and of democracy, respect for the courts, and respect for our fellow man as created in God's image.
"At these painful moments, I turn to the Arab citizens of Israel, and the Palestinian people, to all law abiding citizens, and ask that you do not succumb to the shock and anger. This is a time to join together. The law enforcement and the legal system will find the murderers, and bring them to justice. We must allow the law enforcement services to carry out the task bestowed upon them, and be aware not to be drawn into needless acts of violence. Taking the law into one's own hands, and submitting to acts of violence is to award a prize to the terrorists. Despite the pain and the sorrow, we must continue to believe in our ability to build bridges of coexistence, or a shared existence. We must not let terror win."
President Reuven Rivlin visited four year old Ahmed Dawabsha, being treated in Tel HaShomer hospital following an arson terror attack on his family's home in Duma, in which his baby brother Ali, was killed. The President was accompanied by director of the pediatric intensive care unit at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Prof. Yossi Hayek, as he visited the bed of Ahmed, and spoke with members of the family who were by his side.
President Rivlin spoke with the nurses and doctors treating Ahmed, who updated the President on the seriousness of the child's condition, along with that of his mother who was also being treated in the hospital's intensive care unit in a serious condition. The President also received an update on the situation of the father of the family, who was being treated in Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.
The President asked the father's uncle, who was with Ahmed, to express his deepest condolences to the family, and said that at this difficult time, the entire people were praying for their well-being, and that the security forces were working tirelessly to bring the perpetrators of terrible attack to justice.
Following his visit, the President gave a statement to the media. He said, "We awoke this morning to a day of sorrow, I feel a sense of shame, and moreover a sense of pain. Pain over seeing a child, whose brother was burned, and whose parents are fighting for their lives. It is difficult to see that there are those within my people capable of such acts. The shame is great, though the pain is greater.
It must be understood by both sides that terror cannot be allowed in our region. It is not enough simply to talk about the need to fight terror - we need to fight terror. What we demand of our neighbors, from those with whom we fight, from those who have been our enemies for over a century - to bring an end to terrorism - we must also demand of ourselves.
I spoke with the members of the family who told me of the good relationship of the father and mother, now fighting for their lives, with their Jewish neighbors. We stand before them, and must explain that such terror is not our path, it is not your path, it is not the path of the State of Israel, or of the Jewish people. Words alone will not suffice.
We have returned to our homeland, and from a position of sovereignty we must maintain law and order, and prevent all forms of inexplicable horrors, in the name of any kind of religious conviction, from any side. Enough! The Government, the State, and the citizens of Israel must say - we will have no part in this. We cannot tolerate terrorism. It cannot be allowed that in the name of one or another ideology, churches, synagogues, mosques, or people are burned. It is utterly shameful."
Statement from PM Netanyahu in Wake of the Murder of Ali Dawabsha
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement:
"I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are. I have ordered the security forces to use all means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers and bring them to justice forthwith. The Government of Israel is united in its strong opposition to such deplorable and awful acts. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I would like to share in the sorrow of the family of Ali Dawabsha and wish a quick recovery to the family members who were injured."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, visited the family of Ali Dawabsha, who was murdered this morning in his home. The Prime Minister said at the end of his visit:
"I just came from the bedside of four-year old Ahmed Sa'ed. Sixty percent of his body is burned. We're doing everything we can to save this young boy, give him a life. His two parents are in other parts of the Israeli health system. We're trying to give them the best treatment to save their lives. When you stand next to the bed of this small child, and his infant brother had been so brutally murdered, we're shocked, we're outraged. We condemn this. There is zero tolerance for terrorism wherever it comes from, whatever side of the fence it comes from, we have to fight it and fight it together.
I spoke to President Abu Mazen right before I entered the hospital. I told him of this visit and of Israel's absolute commitment to find the perpetrators, bring them to justice. We have to calm the spirits and recommit ourselves to our joint battle against terrorism and extremism. It's something that all parts of the Israeli government and all parts of Israeli society agree on. It's important that we make a common cause with our Palestinian neighbors to give ourselves a better future - a future free of violence, free of terror, a future of peace."
PM Netanyahu speaks to Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and said that everyone in Israel was shocked by the reprehensible terrorism against the Dawabsha family. The Prime Minister added: "We must fight terrorism together regardless of which side it comes from," and noted that he had ordered the security forces to use all measures to locate the murderers.