12-year-old badly burned in suspected arson attack in May dies of injuries

Child remained in critical condition for almost 2 months after suffering 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns all over his body in Hura blaze

Fire at a garage in the southern town of Hura, May 21, 2022. (Screen grab/Kan)
Fire at a garage in the southern town of Hura, May 21, 2022. (Screen grab/Kan)

A 12-year-old boy who was seriously hurt in late May in a suspected arson attack in the southern Negev town of Hura has died of his injuries, hospital officials said Wednesday.

Issa Najah Abu al-Qian, 12, had been hospitalized in critical condition since suffering second- and third-degree burns all over his body from a fire at a phone store in the southern Bedouin town on May 21.

Three suspects aged 21 and 25 have been charged for allegedly torching the shop, in what was initially believed to be part of an ongoing dispute within the Bedouin Al-Qian clan. The boy’s uncle quickly distanced the family from reports the attack.

“We’re from a different part [of the clan]. This could also have happened to a boy from Beersheba who came to fix his phone,” Salim Issa told Army Radio at the time.

Abu al-Qian’s father said his son accompanied him to work at a factory that day and had taken his phone to get fixed at the nearby store.

According to police, a number of men arrived at the shop and set it ablaze with flammable material.

The flames then apparently spread to nearby buildings. Police had initially believed that an adjacent automobile repair shop was the target of the attack.

Abu al-Qian was transferred to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for urgent treatment. The hospital said he faced a continued threat to his life and was sedated and on a ventilator in the pediatric intensive care unit before his death.

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