Jordan pans ‘ugly’ arson attack, holds Israel responsible
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Jordan pans ‘ugly’ arson attack, holds Israel responsible

Amman says crime that killed Palestinian toddler could have been avoided if Jerusalem hadn't 'turned its back on peace'

A man shows a picture of 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha, who died when his family house was set on fire by alleged Jewish extremists in the West Bank village of Duma, on July 31, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
A man shows a picture of 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha, who died when his family house was set on fire by alleged Jewish extremists in the West Bank village of Duma, on July 31, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

Jordan on Friday condemned as an “ugly crime” an arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists that killed a Palestinian toddler in the West Bank and wounded three family members.

“This ugly crime could have been avoided if the Israeli government had not ignored the rights of the Palestinian people and turned its back on peace… in the region,” government spokesman Mohammed Momani said.

Momani, who is also minister of state for media affairs, said Jordan holds Israel “responsible” for the death of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha and for all attacks on the Palestinian people.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday forcefully condemned the attack on a Palestinian family in Duma as a “horrific, heinous” crime that is “a terror attack in every respect.”

Two homes in the Palestinian village of Duma, south of Nablus, were set alight, and the Hebrew words “Revenge” and “Long live the king messiah” were spray-painted on their walls, alongside a Star of David, overnight Thursday-Friday. The slain toddler’s parents, as well as his 4-year-old brother, were injured and evacuated to the hospital. The mother and toddler were in critical condition.

The prime minister said he instructed the security forces to “use all the resources at their disposal to capture the killers and bring them to justice as soon as possible.” The attack was roundly denounced by Israeli politicians, including Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who said “harming an innocent person in Israel is a red line, regardless of religion or race.”

The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, blamed the Israeli government for the attack.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the Israeli government’s support for the settlements drove the attack, and urged the international community to respond.

“This is a heinous crime that wouldn’t have happened if the government didn’t defend the settlers, and hadn’t insisted on building in the settlements,” he said, according to Israel Radio.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Israel is “fully responsible for the brutal assassination of the toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha.

“This is a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism,” Erekat added.

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