An Arab-Israeli human rights organization is demanding a police investigation into incendiary social media posts targeting a 6-year-old Palestinian boy, who lost his family last July in an arson attack allegedly perpetrated by extremist Jews.
Ahmed Dawabsha returned home to his West Bank village of Duma on Friday, nearly a year after he was badly burned in the attack, which left his parents and baby brother dead.
He was treated for second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body at the Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv.
Following news reports of Dawabsha’s release from the hospital, some Israelis wrote threatening Facebook comments aimed at the boy.
“It’s a pity he wasn’t burned [to death] too” and “Too bad the terrorist [kid] didn’t die,” were among the reactions by Israelis on social media, according to screenshots posted to Facebook.
The Nazareth-based human rights center Meezaan accused the Israeli police and government of “giving a green light” to incitement against Dawabsha and the broader Palestinian and Arab Israeli community through “their silence” in similar cases in the past.
The group demanded the police chief and attorney general open investigations into the Facebook “inciters” and take legal measures against them.
Israeli police have investigated and arrested dozens of Arabs suspected of incitement over social media, Meezaan pointed out, requesting that Jewish inciters be treated in the same way.
The Israel Police would not comment on the specific complaint from Meezaan, simply saying that such complaints are generally “dealt with by the proper authorities and a response is sent to the claimant.”
Other Israelis, horrified by the attack on the Dawabsha home on July 31, 2015, have donated hundreds of thousands of shekels to Ahmed, including NIS 366,000 (about $100,000) raised by the Tag Meir anti-racism organization in a crowdfunding campaign.
Amiram Ben-Uliel, 21, of Jerusalem, and an unnamed 16-year-old were indicted in January in the attack, which led to the immediate death of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha and the deaths of his parents Riham and Saad soon after. Ben-Uliel was indicted for murder; the minor, who is not alleged to have directly participated in the firebombing, was charged as an accomplice.