Itongdol.- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed "shock and horror" at a deadly arson attack in the West Bank Thursday night that left a Palestinian baby dead and three of his family members wounded, in an incident the Israeli military called "Jewish terror." The Palestinian Authority also condemned the incident, saying it holds Israel responsible.
Netanyahu Condemns Fatal West Bank Arson Attack, Calling It Terrorism\’
Speaking Friday morning, Netanyahu called the murder a terror attack, saying he was "a reprehensible and horrific act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are."
Netanyahu spoke in recent hours with representatives from the defense establishment, talking with Defense Minister Moshe Ya\’alon, Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai. " I have ordered the security forces to use all means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers and bring them to justice forthwith," Netanyahu said.
"The government of Israel is unified in its vehement objection to such horrible and base acts. In the name of Israel\’s citizens, I wish to send my condolences to Ali Saad Daobasa\’s family and wish them a speedy recovery."
The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it holds Israel responsible for what it also called a "crime against humanity." Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Abbas\’ spokesman, said such an incident wouldn\’t have happened if Israel\’s government hadn\’t insisted on continued settlement construction and offered protection to the settlements.
"We will no longer accept emtpy verbal condemnations of such horrible crimes by the international community; we demand operative steps to bring about an end to the occupation and see its criminals brought to justice," Abu Rudeineh said in statement, drawing a parallel between the latest incident and that of Mohammed Abu Khdeir – the Palestinian teen who was burned to death last summer in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens in the West Bank.
"This is the consequence of a culture of hate funded and incentivized by the Israeli government and the impunity granted by the international community," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.
Lt. Gen. Eisenkot said he views the incident with the utmost severity and was currently convening top IDF officials to prevent any escalation in the West Bank. Maj. Gen.
Mordechai spoke with senior Palestinian officials and reiterated Israel\’s condemnation of the event, informing them defense forces were searching for the killers and would bring them to justice.
Hamas responded to the murder, and called for a "day of rage" at the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya\’alon also labeled the attack as terror, saying the "arson and murder of Palestinian baby Ali Saad Daobasa is a terrorist attack that we cannot suffer, and we unequivocally condemn it. At this time, defense forces – the IDF, Shin Bet security service and police – are making every effort to apprehend the murderers and will not rest until they are caught."
Ya\’alon stressed that Israel will not allow "Jewish terrorists to harm Palestinians in the West Bank."
Education Minister Naftali Bennett also condemned the incident, saying it was "not a hate crime or \’price tag.\’ It is murder. And the murder of a baby is a horrendous act of terror that cannot be accepted. I call on the defense forces to work ceaselessly to apprehend the murderers and let them face the full extent of justice."
The Yesha Council of settlements also condemned the attack, expressing "outrage and distress at the horrible murder in the village of Duma. As the leaders of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria we wish to express our support for defense forces as they chase the criminals and hope they will be apprehended and brought to justice. This is not the way of the residents of Judea and Samaria," the settler group said.
At roughly 4 am Friday morning, two masked men arrived at two homes in the village of Douma, not far from the settlement of Migdalim. They spray painted graffiti reading "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" in Hebrew, breaking the windows of the homes and throwing two firebombs inside. One of the two homes was empty at the time, but there was a family in the second: the child that died, Ali Saad Daobasa, his father Sa\’ad, mother Reham, and 4-year-old Ahmed.
The four were evacuated to a hospital in Nablus in the West Bank and then to the burn unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed a Palestinian toddler was burned to death, and that Jewish extremists are suspected to be behind the attack.
"This attack against Palestinian civilians is a barbaric act of terrorism," IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner tweeted soon after the attack. Forces are combing the area in attempt to find the perpetrators.
Fear of rioting and disorder at Temple Mount in Jerusalem prompted restrictions on Muslim worshiper, with only those over 50 being permitted to enter the flashpoint compound.