Is­rael charges two in deadly West Bank ar­son

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD - The As­so­ci­ated Press

JERUSALEM — Is­rael on Sun­day charged two Jewish ex­trem­ists in an ar­son at­tack that killed a Pales­tinian tod­dler and his par­ents last July _ cul­mi­nat­ing a drawn-out in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a case that has helped fuel months of Is­raeliPales­tinian violence. The in­dict­ments came as Is­rael said it had bro­ken up a ring of Jewish ex­trem­ists wanted in a se­ries of at­tacks on Pales­tinian and Chris­tian tar­gets. While Is­rael’s prime min­is­ter trum­peted the ar­rests as a vic­tory for law and or­der, the charges drew crit­i­cism from Pales­tini­ans, who said they were too lit­tle and too late, and from the sus­pects’ rel­a­tives, who claimed their loved ones had been tor­tured by Is­raeli in­ter­roga­tors. While Is­rael has been deal­ing with a wave of vig­i­lante-style at­tacks by sus­pected Jewish ex­trem­ists in re­cent years, the deadly July 31 fire­bomb­ing in the West Bank vil­lage of Duma sparked soul-search­ing across the na­tion. The at­tack killed 18month-old Ali Dawab­sheh, while his mother, Ri­ham, and fa­ther, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali’s 4-year-old brother Ah­mad sur­vived and re­mains in an Is­raeli hos­pi­tal. The at­tack was con­demned across the Is­raeli po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, and Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu pledged “zero tol­er­ance’’ in the fight to bring the as­sailants to jus­tice. In­ves­ti­ga­tors placed sev­eral sus­pects un­der “ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ten­tion,’’ a dra­co­nian mea­sure typ­i­cally re­served for Pales­tinian mil­i­tants that al­lows au­thor­i­ties to hold sus­pects for months with­out charge.

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