PM blasts ‘shocking’ tape of wedding-goers feting Duma murders
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PM blasts ‘shocking’ tape of wedding-goers feting Duma murders

Joining politicians from right and left condemning clip, Netanyahu says video shows 'true face' of far-right group, which poses 'threat' to Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night denounced a “shocking” video clip showing far-right extremists celebrating the killings of the Dawabsha family, joining dozens of other politicians and public figures coming out against the taped incident.

Politicians from both sides of the political aisle strongly condemned the clip, aired by Channel 10, which shows revelers at the Jerusalem celebration waving knives, rifles, pistols and a Molotov cocktail during the wedding.

Amid the festivities, a photo of baby Ali Dawabsha, who was burned to death in the July 31 firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma, is shown being repeatedly stabbed.

“The shocking images broadcast tonight show the true face of a group that constitutes a threat to Israeli society and Israel’s security,” said Netanyahu. “We will not accept people who violate the state’s laws and do not see themselves as bound by them.”

The video “proves how important it is to have a strong Shin Bet for the sake of all of our security,” the prime minister added, referring to recent allegations of torture against the national security agency.

Jewish Home lawmakers Uri Ariel and Betzalel Smotrich censured the celebrants filmed in the clip, while distancing it from their right-wing political camp.

Smotrich condemned the “evil price tag ideology,” referring to right-wing attacks against Palestinians, but attempted to disassociate himself from the extremists, saying it “is not the way of religious Zionism, period.”

“The demonic dance with the picture of the murdered baby represents a dangerous ideology and the loss of humanity,” he said, according the Israel National News website.

Agriculture Minister Ariel (Jewish Home), an outspoken supporter of the settlement movement, condemned the participants at the wedding.

“The clip published by Channel 10 news this evening is shocking and one cannot allow the activity of radical groups fueled by hate,” Ariel wrote on Facebook.

Saad and Riham Dawabsha, with baby Ali. All three died when the Dawabsha home in the West Bank village of Duma was firebombed, by suspected Jewish extremists, on July 31, 2015 (Channel 2 screenshot)
Saad and Riham Dawabsha, with baby Ali. All three died when the Dawabsha home in the West Bank village of Duma was firebombed, by suspected Jewish extremists, on July 31, 2015 (Channel 2 screenshot)

“Violence and support of violence deserve only condemnation. This is not the path of Zionism and this is not the path of the settlement movement,” wrote Ariel, who a day earlier had called for the Shin Bet to close down its division that deals with Jewish terror cases.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid compared the celebrants to terrorists and urged Israel to combat them “just like Hamas and Hezbollah are fought.”

The far-rightists did not “sprout in a vacuum,” he added. “There are rabbis behind them, there is an ideology behind them, there is politics behind them.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog termed the revelers “maniacs.”

“Lowlifes, you forgot what it is to be Jewish,” he said, referencing an infamous comment made by Netanyahu against leftist activists two decades ago. “You disgrace the kippah, the prayer shawl, and the name of God. Those who dance at a wedding and celebrate the death of a baby in his sleep are not Jews and not Israeli. They should be locked up as soon as possible.”

In a statement, the Joint List of Arab parties said the Israeli government and defense minister, “who let the settlers attack Palestinians without facing punishment, are the first ones to blame for this terror network.”

The party urged Israeli society to “wake up” and see that “the hatred and terror are the inevitable result of military control and occupation of a civilian population.”

A far-right Israeli wedding-goer celebrates the murder of the Dawabsha family (screen capture: Channel 10)
A far-right Israeli wedding-goer celebrates the murder of the Dawabsha family (screen capture: Channel 10)

The video clip was also denounced by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, who said it went against Jewish tradition. Other religious figures also spoke out against it.

The attack in Duma on July 31 killed three members of a Palestinian family. Only one member of the Dawabsha family — Ahmed, now 5 — survived the attack, and remains hospitalized in Israel. The 18-month-old baby Ali was killed on the night of the attack, while parents Riham and Saad succumbed to their injuries in the succeeding weeks.

The video comes as the Shin Bet has faced criticism from some right-wing activists over reports of torture of suspects detained in connection with the Duma attack.

An unspecified number of Jewish suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack, which is being investigated as an act of terrorism. Details of the investigation, and the identity of the suspects, have been withheld from publication by a court-imposed gag order.

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