Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has instructed security officials to use administrative detention where necessary to hold suspects in the murder of Palestinian infant Ali Saad Dawabsha, Israel Radio reported Sunday.
A senior defense official told Israel Radio that dealing with Jewish terror suspects necessitated using the same methods implemented against Palestinian terror suspects.
The official noted that the perpetrators of Thursday’s firebomb attack in the West Bank village of Duma had been sophisticated in their actions — avoiding carrying mobile phones on their person which could have been used to identify them, and leaving no tracks when they escaped the scene.
Administrative detention — incarceration without trial — is considered a harsh and highly controversial method, but is increasingly used by world governments to combat the threat of terror, when there is not enough evidence against a suspect to justify a criminal trial. Administrative detention is temporary in nature, but may be renewed repeatedly by the defense minister.
Ya’alon on Friday called the arson attack which killed 18-month-old Dawabsha and seriously injured his parents and 4-year-old brother a “serious terror attack.
“The arson and the murder of the Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsha is a serious terror attack that cannot be tolerated, and we condemn it outright,” said Ya’alon. “We will chase down the murderers until they are caught.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday held briefings with top security officials on the deadly arson attack in the West Bank, ordering that the Palestinian Authority be updated on Israeli efforts to hunt down the killers.
The prime minister urged the swift capture of the perpetrators, apparently Jewish extremists.
The PA said that it holds the Israeli government responsible for the attack in Duma. Netanyahu has condemned the attack as a “horrific, heinous” crime that is “a terror attack in every respect.”
Two homes in the Palestinian village of Duma, south of Nablus, were set alight, and the Hebrew words “Revenge” and “Long live the king messiah” were spray-painted on their walls, alongside a Star of David, overnight Thursday-Friday, apparently by Jewish extremists.
Marissa Newman contributed to this report.