Jewish extremists taunt ‘Ali’s on the grill’ at slain toddler’s relatives

Two dozen far-right protesters shout outside courtroom in support of Duma terror attack perpetrators; relatives slam police for letting abusive chorus continue unabated

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Far-right activists chanted slogans cheering for the death of an 18-month old Palestinian outside a courthouse in central Israel as the late toddler’s family walked near them following a hearing Tuesday.

Referencing toddler Ali Saad Dawabshe, killed in a 2015 arson attack carried out by Jewish terrorists, right-wing extremists chanted “Where is Ali? Ali’s dead,” “Ali’s on the grill” and other hate slogans.

Roughly two dozen youth had gathered outside the Central District Court in the city of Lod for a ruling regarding the admissibility of the confessions given by the two suspects in the firebombing of the Dawabsha home, which killed toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha and parents Riham and Saad Dawabsha.

Another son, Ahmed Dawabsha, who was 5 at the time, underwent months of treatment for severe burns sustained in the attack.

The chanting took place as uncle and grandfather Nasr and Hussein Dawabsha, who have served as guardians for Ahmed Dawabsha since the attack, walked out of the courtroom accompanied by Joint (Arab) List MKs Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh.

A spokesman for Tibi managed to capture most of the chants on video, including those of one young religious activist who approached the crowd of Dawabsha supporters and shouted, “Where is Ali? He’s burned!” as he laughed.

Roughly 20 police officers were at the scene, but did not appear to react as the chants persisted.

The Dawabsha relatives stood by their supporters without responding.

“These racist barbaric chants indicate that [the far-right protesters’] natural place is a zoo,” Nasr Dawabsha told The Times of Israel outside the courtroom.

The scene was reminiscent of a video following the Duma attack in which far-right activists were seen celebrating at a wedding by holding pictures of the baby and stabbing it.

The footage, which was widely condemned, led police to arrest several people who had attended the “hate wedding” as the incident was dubbed.

Police on Tuesday made no move to stop the protesters.

Nassar Dawabsha said that if a Palestinian were to take pride in the murder of an Israeli in the manner which the protesters did, “they would receive the harshest of punishments from authorities.”

He accused police of “ensuring the protection” of the demonstrators.

Hussein Dawabsha, center, grandfather of a Palestinian toddler who was burned to death with his parents at their family home, stands with Israeli parliament members Ayman Odeh, left, and Ahmad Tibi, during the trial of the two Jewish men suspected of carrying out the attack, on June 19, 2018 at a court in the town of Lod. AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)

Inside in a dramatic ruling moments prior, the court’s three-judge panel threw out a confession given by the teenage accomplice accused of involvement in the deadly Duma attack, saying that the statement had been given under duress.

However, a confession given by primary suspect Amiram Ben-Uliel was cleared for use after judges determined that enough time had passed between when he was tortured and when he admitted to the crime.

The decision creates a major hurdle for the prosecution, which may now need to throw out the case against the unnamed minor accused of helping plan the firebombing of the Dawabsha family home on July 31, 2015.

The minor and Amiram Ben-Uliel, charged last year with carrying out the attack, have claimed innocence, insisting they only confessed to the crime after being subjected to torture at the hands of Shin Bet interrogators.

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

In April, the Central District Attorney’s Office announced that it would avoid using confessions obtained from the suspects by way of “special means,” referring to confessions extracted under duress.

The prosecution is believed to possess additional evidence on which to base its indictment against Ben-Uliel tying him to the Duma case. The minor’s admissible statements only refer to other incidents, which he still may face prosecution for.

The court has differentiated between confessions obtained in what is known as a “necessary interrogation” and those that are obtained in a typical interrogation. In the former, investigators are authorized to use enhanced methods against the suspects due to a “ticking time bomb scenario” in which authorities believe another attack might be imminent.

However, the court ruled those statements inadmissible.

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