Extremist Israeli settler who burnt Dawabsheh family to death acquitted

May 12,2019

The indictment was modified to specify the crime as arson, and not murder, as had originally been the case.

Extremist Israeli Jewish settler who, in 2015, burnt Dawabsheh family to death in the West Bank village of Duma was acquitted on Sunday, judicial source in Lod District Court revealed.

The murderer of the Palestinian family, which consisted of a mother, father and 18-month-old son, reached a plea agreement with the Israeli State Prosecutor’s Office in which he avoided being convicted for planning the murder of the whole family.

His name is barred from publication, but he admitted to having planned the torching of a Palestinian home in the northern West Bank four years ago.

However, the indictment against him was amended to make no mention of toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha and his parents, Riham and Saad, who were burnt to death then.

Approved by a Lod District Court judge, the agreement saw the murderer confess to conspiring to commit a crime motivated by racism — the same count for which he was charged in January 2016.

However, the indictment was modified to specify the crime as arson, and not murder, as had originally been the case.

The murderer, who was acquitted, confessed that he had carried out three other hate crimes targeting Palestinians: torching a garage in West Bank village of Aqraba, torching a taxi in the town of Yasuf and slashing tires of cars in the East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa.

Israeli State Prosecutor’s Office requested that the murderer be sentenced to five and a half years of actual jail time.

Last July, the Lod District Court released the defendant to house arrest, less than two months after it threw out several of his confessions because they were allegedly extracted under extreme duress by interrogators of the Shin Bet security service.

The court also quashed a number of confessions given by Ben-Uliel, the main suspect in the Duma attack, who is charged with having hurled the lethal firebomb at the Dawabsha home.

Hussein Dawabsha, whose son, daughter-in-law and grandson were killed in the attack, told the court that he did not accept the agreement, insisting that justice must be achieved in this case.

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