The lawyer for relatives of a murdered Palestinian family who were firebombed inside their house by a Jewish settler has requested the maximum sentencing, as the years-long case nears its end.
Saad and Riham Dawabsheh, along with their 18-month old son Ali, died in the arson attack carried out by Amiram Ben-Uliel while they slept in their home in the occupied West Bank village of Duma in July 2015.
The family’s sole survivor in the attack was Ahmed Dawabsheh, who was four years old at the time and suffered second- and third-degree burns on more than 60 percent of his body.
“We demand three life sentences, in addition to an extra 40 years in prison for the settler, as well as a financial compensation of 260,000 shekels ($75,400) for each of the three victims,” family lawyer Omar Khamayseh told Al Jazeera on Tuesday after a court session in which family members gave their last testimony in the case.
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Ben-Uliel was convicted last month of three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of arson and conspiracy to commit a racially motivated crime.
According to Israeli prosecutors, Ben-Uliel chose the Dawabsheh family home on the assumption it was inhabited and threw a Molotov cocktail in one of the windows. Prior to that, he had spray-painted “Revenge” and “Long Live King Messiah” on the walls of the house.
His sentencing, Khamayseh said, will take place on July 12 at 6 am (03:00 GMT) at the Lod (Lydda) District Court.
According to Israeli rights organization Yesh Din, there is a very low percentage of indictments that result from ideological crimes committed by Israeli citizens and Jewish settlers against Palestinians or their property in the West Bank.
Amiram Ben Uliel in court this morning pic.twitter.com/iRvkBom6Ck
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The organization monitored 1,293 cases between 2005 and 2019 in the West Bank and found that a sweeping majority of these cases – 1,144, or 91 percent – were closed without any indictments. Only 8 percent of these cases (100) resulted in indictments, and the remaining eight were lost by the Israeli police and never investigated.
“When the nature of the crime is so overwhelmingly violent, the extent of which forces itself on global news media, Israel is left with only one option – to use the indictment of ‘Jewish terrorism’ as an opportunity to reinvent itself, its ‘democratic’ system, its ‘transparent’ judicial proceedings, and so on,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud wrote in a recent article.
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“Meanwhile, Israeli media and its affiliates worldwide labor to describe the collective ‘shock’ and ‘outrage’ felt by ‘law-abiding’, ‘peace-loving’ Israelis,” Baroud added.
“The murder of the Dawabsheh family, although one of the numerous acts of violence perpetrated by Jewish extremists and the Israeli military against innocent Palestinians, is the perfect case in point.”
(Palestine Chronicle, AJE, Social Media)