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Palestinian family survives arson attack in West Bank

Jewish settlers suspected of setting fire to a Palestinian house in Khirbet Abu Falah, while a mother and her three daughters were inside
Palestinian mother, Huda Abu Rami, inside her burnt house in the West Bank town of Khirbet Abu Falah on 23 November, 2014 (MEE/Oren Ziv)

The house of a Palestinian family of four was set on fire by suspected Jewish settlers early Sunday in the West Bank town of Khirbet Abu Falah, about 26 kilometres (16 miles) northeast of Ramallah. 

The front room of the house was completely burnt, and the people who carried out the attack sprayed graffiti in Hebrew around the house reading "Death to all Arabs" and "Revenge the blood of your servants".

Huda Abu Rami, who lives in the house with her three daughters, told MEE that the attackers "were outside the house for 10 minutes. They wrote the graffiti. We tried to speak to them in Arabic but they didn't answer. They were speaking Hebrew," she said.

"After that, they tried to enter thought the main door, but they didn't manage, so they broke the window and got into the front room. They didn't manage to open the metal door [inside the house], so they went out and threw a bottle of petrol into the house."

"Four of us live here - me and my three daughters. Thank goodness we are all safe now."

Later in the morning, nearby residents who examined the damage - the second floor of the house survived - were convinced the attack was carried out by settlers from the area.

"At 4:00 am (0200 GMT), settlers came and threw molotov cocktails at a house which partly burned down," Masud Abu Mura, mayor of Khirbet Abu Falah, told AFP.  

Just two weeks ago, a mosque was set on fire and burnt down in the nearby village of al-Mughayir.

When Israeli soldiers and police arrived they ordered all the residents and journalists to leave the house so they could examine the damage.

A Palestinian man at the scene told a border policeman: "We can help you not to make a mess. You should go to the settlement. You know where it is. The criminals are there." 

The closest settlement is the illegal outpost of Edi Ed. Israeli sources told MEE that evidence at the scene indicated that the people who carried out the attack came with a car into Khirbet Abu Falah.  

Zakaria Sada, a worker for the "Rabbis for Human Rights" organisation, told MEE at the scene: "This is an arson attack … It is a severe, terror attack that could have ended in the death of the whole family.

"We demand the Israeli police and army act immediately and arrest the people who carried out this attack," he added.