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Israeli officials say Duma arson attack perpetrators identified

The arson attack in Duma killed three members of the Dawabsha family including 18-month-old Ali
Palestinian men carry the body of Saad Dawabsha, the father of a Palestinian toddler killed when their home was firebombed by Jewish extremists, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Duma on August 8, 2015.

Israeli authorities say they know who torched the West Bank home of the Dawabsha family, killing three members of one family.

However, Israeli Defence Minster Moshe Yaalon said on Wednesday that authorities will prevent legal recourse in order to avoid exposing intelligence sources in court.

The arson attack on the Dawabsha family home in Duma, a small village just south of Nablus, immediately killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha on 31 July.

His father, Saad, died not long after of his injuries.

A funeral was held on Monday for Reham Dawabsha, Ali’s mother, who died in hospital on her 27th birthday after clinging to life in hospital for almost six weeks.

The family’s sole surviving member, four-year-old Ahmed Dawabsha, remains in a serious condition in hospital.

Eyewitnesses to the attack say they saw four men running from the scene towards the nearby settlement of Maaleh Ephraim, after firebombing the Dawabsha home and spray-painting “revenge” and “long live the king of the Messiah” on houses in the village.

A senior Israeli Army officer told reporters on Tuesday that security agencies had “no doubt” that the Duma attack was perpetrated by Jews, reported the Times of Israel.

“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 that said the Israeli Army had been lax in locating the suspected attackers, reported the Times of Israel. The officer reportedly said security agencies were devoting every required resource to catch the men. 

Three men are still being held in administrative detention over the killing, but it remains unclear whether they are thought to have direct links with the attack.

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