A Palestinian family has denounced a plea deal to clear a Jewish settler from murder charges in a 2015 arson attack in which a Palestinian baby and his parents were burned alive in the occupied West Bank.
Saad Dawabsheh, 31, his wife, Reham, 27, and their 18-month-old son Ali were killed in the attack when settlers set on fire their home in the village of Duma in Nablus in July 2015.
Their firstborn son, then four-year-old Ahmad, was the sole survivor and sustained severe burns to over 60 percent of his body.
Israeli prosecutors agreed not to press murder charges against a Jewish suspect in a 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents, the justice ministry said.https://t.co/PuRVdxlrpG
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) May 12, 2019
On Sunday, the Central District Court in Lod (known as al-Lydd to Palestinians) approved a plea deal between the settler’s lawyers and the state prosecutor’s office under which he was cleared of the murder conspiracy charges.
As part of the plea bargain, the suspect – whose name has been withheld – pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit a crime motivated by racism.
The indictment was modified to specify the crime as arson and not murder, as had originally been the case.
— State of Press (@stateofpress) May 14, 2019
Under the deal, the settler, who was a minor at the time of the attack, would not serve more than five years in prison in connection with the murder.
He is still facing charges in relation to three other ideologically motivated incidents, including the torching of a Palestinian taxi in Kafr Yussuf, the burning of a warehouse in Aqraba and vandalism in Beit Safafa.
Nasr Dawabsheh, a spokesperson for the family, told Anadolu Agency:
“This deal proves the complicity of the Israeli judiciary in this horrible crime … This deal is unfair and encourages the settler gangs to commit more crimes.”
"Israeli prosecutors on Sunday agreed not to press murder charges against a Jewish suspect in a 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents, the justice ministry said." https://t.co/tPA7AB0mXS
— Ben White (@benabyad) May 13, 2019
Dawabsheh said the family would pursue all legal measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“We do not trust the Israeli judiciary but we are forced to pursue all legal measures before Israeli courts before going to international courts to bring the perpetrators to accountability.”
“The International Criminal Court (ICC) does not accept cases unless all legal measures are pursued before local courts.”
In 2015 settlers set fire to the house of Saad Dawabsheh, burning him, his wife Riham and their infant Ali (18 months old) to death, while their son Ahmad (4 years old), the only survivor of the crime, was severely burnt.https://t.co/fMLyTxkAhY
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) May 12, 2019
Last July, the Lod District Court released the defendant to house arrest, less than two months after it threw out several of his confessions because they were allegedly extracted under extreme duress by interrogators of the Shin Bet security service.
Israeli security agency Shin Bet believes it has the primary suspect in the Dawabsheh attack, a settler by the name of Amiram Ben Oliel, under arrest. His investigation is ongoing.
(Al Jazeera, PC, Social Media)