Plea agreement reached for suspect in Dawabsha family attack

Israeli prosecutors have struck a plea deal with an unnamed suspect involved in the 2015 firebombing attack on the Dawabsha family which resulted in the murder of two adults and their baby.

The suspect, who was 17 at the time and therefore remains unnamed, helped plan the attack on the Palestinian family’s home in the West Bank village of Duma with other far-right Jewish terrorists.

In July 2015, they threw homemade bombs through the windows of the home, immediately engulfing the house in flames.

The extremists attack resulted in the killing of Riham and Saad Dawabsha, and their 18-month-old child, Ali. Their other son, five-year-old Ahmed Dawabsha, was the sole survivor from the attack and escaped with severe burns.

On 12 May, the Times of Israel reported that prosecutors made the plea agreement because the unnamed suspect did not actually take part in the attack.

One official for the prosecution quoted the indictment as saying: For an unknown reason, the accused did not succeed in [making it to] the planned meeting between the defendant and the other [defendant] that night.

The Israeli prosecution will seek a prison sentence of five and a half years for the unnamed suspect, who has already served two years in prison and one year on house arrest.

If convicted, the suspect’s sentence would account for the time they have already served.

The original indictment of the then-minor included one count of membership in a terror organisation. The prosecution official who spoke to the Times of Israel said the state still intends to convict the teen of that charge.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously described the firebombing attack as terrorism.

Amiram Ben-Uliel, a second suspect in the case who hurled lethal explosives into the Dawabsha home, remains in custody. He faces three charges of murder, as well as one charge of attempted murder for injuring the only survivor, the then five-year-old Ahmed Dawabsha.

Ben-Uliel also faces counts of arson and conspiracy to commit a hate crime.

Ahmed, who lost his right ear in the fire, was kept in an intensive care unit for more than one year as doctors treated burns that covered 65 per cent of his body, Nasser Dawabsha, his uncle, told Palestine Monitor. He will receive laser surgery treatments every three months for the next 15 years.

My family has gone through a holocaust of their own, Nasser Dawabsha said of the terrorist attack.

Nasser Dawabsha said the Tel Aviv hospital that treated Ahmed and Riham’s burns, to which Riham eventually succumbed, charged the family with a bill of $2m shekels.

The Dawabsha family refused to receive the bill, however.

Yoav Mordechai, the Israel Defence Forces coordinator of government activities in the territories, denied that Israel served the family with the bill. Israel has since claimed it would pay for the treatments.

Source: Palestine Monitor