In an attack Israeli officials condemned as a “barbaric act of terrorism” an 18-month-old Palestinian baby boy was burned to death early Friday. Suspected Jewish extremists hurled firebombs into the family’s West Bank home.
Israeli police say it was a suspected “price tag,” or retaliation arson attack by right-wing Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.
The house in Duma, a village near Nablus, had its windows smashed and fire bombs thrown inside shortly before dawn as the family were asleep, according to the military and witnesses. Graffiti in Hebrew reading “revenge” was scrawled outside, below a Star of David.
RT report: The victim’s four-year-old brother and both parents were also injured and have been brought to the hospital. The attack took place in the early hours of the morning when the family was fast asleep and could not react immediately.
The house was reportedly destroyed by fire at the time the family was sleeping inside. The blaze also damaged another house, which was luckily empty at the time.
“I am in shock from this criminal and terrible act,” Aruts Sheva quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying Friday morning. “We are talking about terrorism in every respect.”
The infamous “price tag” tactic, typically used by radical Jewish settlers attacking Palestinian homes, Christian churches, mosques and government buildings, in response to Palestinian attacks on Jewish settlements, was daubed on the walls of the family’s home.
She called it a “suspected attack with nationalist motives,” adding that Israeli security forces were at the scene.
“This attack against civilians is nothing short of a barbaric act of terrorism,” Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Force said. “A comprehensive investigation is under way in order to find the terrorists and bring them to justice.”
He added: “The IDF strongly condemns this deplorable attack and has heightened its efforts in the field to locate those responsible.”
The death of 18 month old Ali Dawabshe is bound to aggravate Israeli-Palestinian tensions at a time when Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government pursue the controversial settlement expansion policy in the occupied territories.