A terror attack early this morning that killed a Palestinian toddler and injured member of his family, apparently perpetrated by Jews, drew condemnations from across Israel’s political spectrum.
18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha was killed, and his parents and four-year-old brother injured, when their home in the village of Duma was set on fire. The family was evacuated to the hospital, where the mother and the surviving son are in critical condition.
A Star of David, as well as the Hebrew words for “revenge” and “long live the king messiah,” were spray-painted on the walls of their now-destroyed house.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack “an act of terrorism,” and ordered security forces to “use all means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers and bring them to justice forthwith.” His full statement is below:
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.
“The arson and the murder of the Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsha is a serious terror attack that cannot be tolerated, and we condemn it outright,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said. “We will chase down the murderers until they are caught.” “Terror is terror is terror. The torching of the house in Duma and the murder of the baby is a shocking terror attack that is unfathomable,” said Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called the attack a “terrible tragedy” and a “horrifying hate crime.” Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, called the attack a “heinous act,” while Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid called the perpetrators of the attack “traitors” and added, “He who burns a Palestinian baby declares war on the State of Israel.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin issued an official statement on his Facebook page.
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 the family, her 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.
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.
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.
Yes: Yesha council of settler leaders expresses "shock and disgust" following the "horrific murder" of Palestinian child Ali Dawabshe.
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) July 31, 2015
— Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) July 31, 2015
A despicable hate crime was committed this evening in Jerusalem. In Israel everyone, including the gay community, has the right to live in peace, and we will defend that right. I welcome the Israeli religious leadership’s condemnation of this terrible crime, and I call on all those in positions of leadership to denounce this contemptible act. In the name of all of Israelis, I wish the wounded a full and speedy recovery.
[Photo: Wall Street Journal / YouTube ]