IDF: Duma attack was definitely ‘Jewish terrorism’
Senior official dimisses speculation that deadly July firebombing may have been carried out by Palestinians
A senior IDF officer told reporters on Tuesday that security agencies had “no doubt” as to the nature of a deadly firebombing attack on a Palestinian family’s home in July.
“There is no doubt in the defense establishment about the fact that the perpetrators of the attack were Jews,” the official said Tuesday in a briefing to reporters.
The July 31 attack in the northern West Bank village of Duma killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha. His father Saad and mother Riham succumbed to severe burns the following week and in early September, respectively. Four-year-old Ahmed, still hospitalized at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer near Ramat Gan with burns over much of his body, is the sole surviving member of the family.
“This was an act of Jewish terrorism, and that’s unambiguous,” the officer said. He did not reveal evidence from the ongoing investigation, but insisted, “All the conjecture and speculations being spread on this issue lack any basis in reality.”
The officer also responded to complaints by family members of the victims — reiterated this week by a UN official — that said the IDF was lax in locating the suspected attackers. While he would not give any update on the investigation, including whether there were suspects, he said security agencies were devoting every required resources to solving the case and catching the perpetrators.
The attack shocked the nation, prompting leaders from across the political spectrum, including President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to condemn the attack and order a massive crackdown on the so-called “price tag” movement of Jewish extremists who carry out attacks against Palestinian civilians. The security cabinet, composed of the cabinet’s most senior ministers, took the step of granting Israel’s security agencies the power to detain Jewish terror suspects without trial, a measure used regularly against Palestinians but rarely against Israeli citizens.
Some right-wing activists have criticized the rhetoric and the crackdown, saying no investigation had yet proven the attack was carried out by Jewish terrorists.
Beyond the publicly available details, such as the Hebrew graffiti found at the site of the attack, the details of the investigation are classified. But the IDF officer’s comments echo those of cabinet ministers and others who have firsthand access to the evidence.