JERUSALEM Members of a “Jewish terror group” have been arrested more than a July arson attack on a Palestinian home in the Israeli-occupied West Bank that killed a toddler and his parents, Israeli police mentioned on Thursday.
A police statement did not say how many suspects were in custody. It said a court order banning disclosure of their names and other information of the case was in impact.
Eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was killed in the July 31 blaze in Duma, a village outdoors Nablus. His father, Saad Dawabsheh, succumbed on Aug. 9 to injuries suffered in the fire, and the boy’s mother, Riham, died in hospital four weeks later. Ali’s four-year-old brother remains in hospital.
The police statement stated “youths belonging to a Jewish terror group” suspected of carrying out attacks on Palestinians have been arrested more than the past few days, and there have been “strong suspicions” linking them to the arson at the Dawabshehs’ residence.
Palestinian anger over the attack has been a factor fuelling a wave of street assaults on Israelis that erupted on Oct. 1.
In the latest incident, a Palestinian gunman fired at a checkpoint near Jerusalem on Thursday, wounding a soldier and a bystander prior to becoming shot dead by soldiers, the military mentioned.
In a statement on Wednesday, the United Nations special coordinator for the now moribund Middle East peace process expressed concern more than what he described as “slow progress” in solving the Duma case.
“Amidst the current escalation of violence, it is important that all firmly and consistently reject terrorism and act decisively to cease hatred and incitement,” the U.N. official, Nickolay Mladenov, stated.
Israeli leaders pledged after the Dawabsheh toddler’s death to crack down on violent far-correct Jewish groups, and the government decided to start detaining with out trial Israeli citizens suspected of political violence against Palestinians.
Over the previous two months, unrest has surged, with nearly every day stabbings, car rammings and shootings by Palestinians, which have killed 19 Israelis and 1 U.S. citizen.
Israeli forces have killed 97 Palestinians, of whom 58 have been identified by Israel as assailants or caught on camera carrying out assaults, while most other folks have been killed in clashes with police or the military.
Tensions have also been stoked by disputes more than access to a Jerusalem holy internet site revered by Jews and Muslims and other concerns at the heart of the now-frozen Israeli-Palestinian peace method, from failed negotiations to Israeli settlements on occupied land that Palestinians seek for a independent state.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller Editing by Luke Baker and Mark Heinrich)