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Israel arrests alleged suspects over deadly Duma arson

Five months after firebombing that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents, Israel arrests arson suspects
The firebombing gutted the Dawabsha family home in Duma (AFP)

Israeli authorities hves arrested several alleged suspects over the firebombing of a Palestinian home that killed a toddler and his parents, in an attack that drew international condemnation.

Israel faces mounting pressure to bring to justice the perpetrators of the July attack in the occupied West Bank, with a UN envoy expressing concern over the "slow progress" in the probe.

The Shin Bet domestic security agency said arrests had been made in recent days of young men "suspected of belonging to a Jewish terror organisation and carrying out terror attacks".

It said the detainees were being questioned over the 31 July firebombing in the village of Duma, located near the Jordan Valley and close to illegal wildcat settlements.

Further information on the investigation, including the identities of those held, remained under a gag order.

A legal representative of one suspect held over the arson appeared in court in the Israeli city of Lod on Thursday to request access to speak with his client, but was refused, he said.

Itamar Ben-Gvir said his client was being held over the Duma attack, but had no other details on the case and criticised the Israeli authorities for denying him access.

Eighteen-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha and his parents were killed in the firebombing. The couple's four-year-old son was the sole survivor from the immediate family.

A Star of David and the words "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" were spray-painted on a wall near the family's small house.

The arson attack drew renewed attention to settler violence and accusations Israel had not done enough to address the problem.

Young Jewish men from wildcat settlement outposts in the West Bank and known as the "hilltop youth" have been blamed for attacks and vandalism targeting Palestinians, Christian holy sites and even Israeli military property.

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