After baby killed in arson, Hamas urges lone-wolf attacks on Israelis

PA foreign minister demands international travel ban on Jewish settlers in wake of ‘terrorist crime’

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

An Israeli soldier stands near a house in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus, where a Palestinian infant was killed July 31, 2015, in an arson attack, apparently by Jewish extremists. (Photo by FLASH90)
An Israeli soldier stands near a house in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus, where a Palestinian infant was killed July 31, 2015, in an arson attack, apparently by Jewish extremists. (Photo by FLASH90)

Hamas called on Palestinians to initiate lone-wolf attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers in response to an arson attack in the Palestinian village of Duma overnight Thursday-Friday, which left a baby dead and three members of his family severely injured.

Spokesman Husam Badran called the attack — in which two West Bank homes were set alight Thursday night and Hebrew graffiti spray-painted on their walls — an “unforgivable Israeli atrocity” meriting an “exceptional response from our people and their resistance.”

“This crime,” Badran was quoted by Hamas daily al-Resalah as saying, “renders occupation soldiers and settlers a legitimate target for the resistance everywhere and in all conditions.”

Hamas had already declared Friday a “Day of Rage.” Earlier this week, the movement called on Palestinians across the West Bank to partake in demonstrations following mosque services “in the defense of al-Aqsa Mosque,” responding to rising tensions on the Temple Mount between Jews and Muslims.

Hamas spokesman Husam Badran Facebook image
Hamas spokesman Husam Badran (Facebook image)

The funeral of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha was scheduled to leave Nablus’s Rafidia Hospital in the late morning, ahead of Friday prayers.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would appeal to the International Criminal Court to investigate Friday’s arson attack.

“We are immediately preparing the file that will be submitted to the ICC,” Abbas told reporters, while also denouncing “war crimes and crimes against humanity committed each day by Israelis against the Palestinian people.”

Earlier, Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the Israeli government’s support for 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 didn’t insist on building in the settlements,” he told the official Wafa news agency.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki holds a joint press conference with Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (not seen), in the West Bank city of Ramallah. December 06, 2012 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called on western states to include “price tag groups” or “hilltop youth” in their lists of terror organizations. He also called on the international community to curtail the international travel of settlers outside Israel and place them on blacklists.

“This last Jewish terrorist crime is a clear reflection of the policy of incitement adopted by the Israeli government and its various elements against Palestinian existence,” he said.

But Hamas spokesman Badran urged members of Abbas’s Fatah movement to take action, rather than settle for verbal condemnations.

“To our brothers in Fatah in the West Bank,” he wrote on Facebook Friday morning, “your circumstances allow you to carry out a quality act of resistance. The crimes of the occupation exclude no one. Will any of your noble men make us proud?”

Marissa Newman, AFP contributed to this report

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