Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on Friday forcefully condemned the arson attack on a Palestinian family — in which an infant was burned to death — as a “horrific, heinous” crime that is “a terror attack in every respect.”
Two homes in the Palestinian village of Duma, south of Nablus, were set alight, and the Hebrew words “Revenge” and “Long live the king messiah” were spray-painted on their walls, alongside a Star of David, overnight Thursday-Friday, apparently by Jewish extremists.
The child killed in the attack, Ali Saad Dawabsha, was 18 months old. The infant’s parents, as well as his 4-year-old brother, were all injured and evacuated to the hospital. The mother and toddler were in critical condition.
“I am shocked by this horrific, heinous act,” said Netanyahu in a statement. “This is a terror attack in every respect. The State of Israel deals forcefully with terror, regardless of who the perpetrators are.”
The prime minister said he instructed the security forces to “use all the resources at their disposal to capture the killers and bring them to justice as soon as possible.”
Netanyahu offered condolences and a speedy recovery to the members of the Dawabsha family, and said the Israeli government was “unified in its fierce opposition to these awful, base acts.”
The prime minister’s remarks were echoed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the Israel Defense Forces on Friday morning, who called it a “serious terror attack,” and by politicians from both sides of the aisle.
The IDF was also beefing up its West Bank presence in anticipation of riots. Hamas had already declared Friday a “Day of Rage” to protest the deaths of several Palestinians by Israeli forces in the past few weeks, and demonstrations were expected to escalate into violence.
“The arson and the murder of the Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsha is a serious terror attack that cannot be tolerated, and we condemn it outright,” stated Ya’alon. “We will chase down the murderers until they are caught.”
IDF Spokesman Moti Almoz commented, “I cannot recall such a serious incident in the past few years.
“It’s a crime, and we are calling it a terror attack for all intents and purposes,” he stated.