Real Madrid to host child survivor of Duma firebomb attack
search

Real Madrid to host child survivor of Duma firebomb attack

World-famous soccer team invites 5-year-old Ahmed Dawabsha after a picture of him wearing its strip in hospital went viral

Ahmed Dawabsha in his room at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan, December 23, 2015 (Simona Weinglass/Times of Israel)
Ahmed Dawabsha in his room at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan, December 23, 2015 (Simona Weinglass/Times of Israel)

The five-year-old survivor of a West Bank arson attack will meet his favorite Spanish soccer team, Real Madrid, on March 17, the Palestinian Football Association announced on Saturday.

Five-year-old Ahmed Dawabsha lost his entire family — parents Saad and Riham and 18-month-old brother Ali — in the July firebombing of their home in the village of Duma by suspected Jewish terrorists. Ahmed sustained second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body and underwent a total of 10 surgeries, including skin grafts.

Ahmed will be accompanied by two relatives on the two-week trip to Spain, which begins March 17.

The head of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, said in a statement that the team had felt sympathy for Ahmed after pictures of him in a Real Madrid shirt spread online.

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

Rajoub said the offer was “appreciated, and would have humanitarian dimensions,” the Palestinian news agency Maan reported.

Real Madrid first invited Ahmed to visit in January. The club’s spokesman Raul Serrano Quevedo wrote in a letter to the Palestinian ambassador that the team “would be delighted” to host him.

Nasser Dawabsha, the boy’s uncle, said Ahmed spends a lot of time at the hospital watching sports and that he adores Real Madrid star player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Aviram Ben-Uliel, 21, of Jerusalem was indicted in early January, along with an unnamed minor, for the July 2015 firebomb attack. Ben-Ulliel was charged with murder.

Amiram Ben-Uliel, who was indicted Sunday, January 3, 2016, for murder in the killing of the Dawabsha family in Duma (courtesy)
Amiram Ben-Uliel, who was indicted Sunday, January 3, 2016, for murder in the killing of the Dawabsha family in Duma (courtesy)

The indictments marked a key breakthrough in the case, which shocked Israelis and led to unprecedented measures against Jewish terror suspects, including a cabinet vote to extend to Israeli citizens counter-terrorism practices such as detention without trial.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments