JERUSALEM — More than a month after Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha was killed in an arson attack on his home in the West Bank village of Duma, his mother, Riham, succumbed to her wounds overnight Sunday.
The July 31 attack, allegedly carried out by Jewish extremists, also killed Ali’s father, Saad. Only his brother, 4-year-old Ahmed, survived. He remains in an Israeli hospital with burns on more than 60 percent of his body.
“Her death is a shock for everybody. We were hoping that she would live and take care of Ahmed, but she wanted to be with her toddler,” Yousef Dawabsha, her uncle, said in an interview Monday.
He expressed anger that Israel had not caught those responsible for the attack, which drew international condemnation.
“Is Israel not the number one state when it comes to security? So why have they failed to catch the ones who are responsible for it?” Dawabsha said.
The attack in Duma, a 30-minute drive northeast of the West Bank city of Ramallah, occurred in the early hours of July 31. The assailants smashed windows and tossed firebombs inside two Palestinian homes at the edge of the village while the residents slept. The word “revenge,” written in Hebrew, was spray-painted on a nearby wall next to a scrawled image of the Star of David. At the time, authorities said Jewish extremists were the most likely perpetrators.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack, even visiting the victims in hospital and ordering security forces “to use all resources at their disposal to capture the killers and bring them to justice as soon as possible.”
On Monday, he reiterated that promise, saying in a statement that Israeli security forces are doing their utmost to apprehend the assailants.
A week after the attack, Israeli forces arrested nine Jewish settlers suspected of extremist activities against Palestinians, but most were soon released. No one has been charged in the deadly arson attack.
“This is a sad day, not only in Duma but all over the country. We are so angry the whole family was burnt to death and the one who survived will live with serious injuries,” Abdul Salam Dawabsha, head of the Duma council, said Sunday.
“We are so angry at Israel for not taking swift action against the settlers, so angry they are not protecting us,” he said. “This would not have happened without the support and encouragement of the Israeli army.”
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement that Israel should be held accountable for the attack.
“Over a month has passed and the Israeli government has not yet brought the terrorists to justice,” he said. “In fact, more hate-speech and incitement have been coming out from members of the Israeli government, more settler attacks have been carried out and more Palestinians have been killed, injured or detained.”