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Court frees Duma terror suspect to house arrest

Jewish detainee believed to be involved in July firebombing at West Bank home that killed 3 members of Palestinian family

Saad and Riham Dawabsha, with baby Ali (Channel 2 screenshot)
Saad and Riham Dawabsha, with baby Ali (Channel 2 screenshot)

A Jewish terrorism suspect in the fatal firebombing attack on a Palestinian home in July was freed Thursday to house arrest for 10 days by Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court.

No information about the suspect or his alleged connection to the attack was immediately released.

Riham and Saad Dawabsha and their 18-month-old baby Ali were killed by the July 31 attack on their home in Duma in the West Bank — Ali in the blaze started by the firebomb and his parents in the following days. The sole surviving member of the family, five-year-old Ahmed, is being treated for severe burns in an Israeli hospital.

The Shin Bet domestic security service has arrested dozens of far-right activists in connection to the attack, but so far no indictments have been filed.

Earlier this week, a teen released after being detained for a month as a suspect in the attack claimed in a Channel 2 interview that Shin Bet interrogators tortured him while he was in custody.

An Israeli woman enters the burnt home of the Dawabsha family in Duma August 2, 2015, following a terror attack the week before. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
An Israeli woman enters the burnt home of the Dawabsha family in Duma August 2, 2015, following a terror attack the week before. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

The minor, identified only by the Hebrew initial “Ayin,” reiterated charges made by the lawyers of the suspects in the murders that the domestic security agency used severe interrogation techniques against the detainees. State prosecutors on Monday submitted a statement of intent to indict Ayin for an attack on an Arab youth two years ago, but not in the Duma case.

The Shin Bet and the government have denied the torture allegations, although the Shin Bet has acknowledged “manhandling” the suspects, having classified them as “ticking bombs” who may have information on future planned attacks.

The main suspect in the attack will be indicted for murder within five days, according to a document submitted Wednesday by the state prosecutors managing the case.

According to the document, which was seen by the Haaretz daily, the key Jewish suspect will be charged with murder, while a second detainee will be indicted on as-yet unspecified charges. The report indicated that the second suspect will also be indicted for the July attack.

The prosecutors said Wednesday the indictments would be filed at the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court. The two were allegedly directly involved in the planning and orchestration of the fatal firebombing.

The detention of the main suspect was extended by the court on Wednesday. One of the two suspects is an adult, and the other is a minor.

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