[News] How Israel protects its settlers who burn Palestinian children alive

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 31 16:44:55 EDT 2015


  How Israel protects its settlers who burn Palestinian children alive

Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> 31 
July 2015

Ahmad Talat

Before dawn on Friday morning, Ali Dawabsha, an 18-month-old Palestinian 
toddler, was burned to death in an arson attack on two homes in the 
village of Duma in the northern occupied West Bank.

The murder of Ali Dawabsha is not the first time Israeli settlers have 
burned Palestinians alive.

Given the impunity Israel grants its settlers, what chance is there 
really that Ali’s killers will be brought to justice?

“We saw four settlers running away keeping distance between each other,” 
23-year old Musallam Dawabsha, one of the villagers who tried to assist, 
told Ma’an News Agency 
<https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=766758>. “We tried to chase 
them but they fled to the nearby Maaleh Efraim settlement.”

The attackers also left behind graffiti making clear their racist 
motives: they painted a Star of David and the words “revenge” and “Long 
live the Messiah King” on the walls.

Ali’s mother is now in critical condition with serious burns over 90 
percent of her body. His father has burns on 80 percent and Ali’s 
4-year-old brother has 60 percent burns.

    Crocodile tears

Following this horror, Israeli officials from Prime Minister Benjamin 
Netanyahu <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/benjamin-netanyahu> on 
down have put on an ostentatious show of condemnation and sorrow and 
vows to bring the killers to justice.

At the same time, the occupation has begun its collective punishment /of 
Palestinians/, moving reinforcements 
<http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4686046,00.html> into the 
West Bank to repress potential protests and barring Palestinians 
<https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=766764> from al-Aqsa mosque in 
occupied Jerusalem.

It is hard to imagine a more hypocritical display than the crocodile 
tears of the same leaders who perpetrated the massacre of 2,200 
Palestinians in Gaza last year, more than 500 of them children 
now feigning outrage at the murder of one more.

Of course the Israeli declarations have a specific goal: to try to paint 
the killing of Ali Dawabsha as an exceptional act and to obscure the 
reality that the violence of individual settlers is integral to the 
structure of Israeli colonial occupation and apartheid.

For Israel this is a mere public relations crisis and the expressions of 
outrage and “sorrow” are no more than the /hasbara/ 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/hasbara> – propaganda – prescribed 
by spin doctors for the current news cycle.

Equally hypocritical would be any condemnations from the US 
administration of President Barack Obama 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/barack-obama> which regularly 
boasts about how much it has done to arm and finance Israel and protect 
it from any accountability.

    “A matter of time”

“A burned infant was only a matter of time,” Israeli human rights group 
B’Tselem declared 
after this morning’s attack.

“This is due to the authorities’ policy to avoid enforcing the law on 
Israelis who harm Palestinians and their property,” the group added. 
“This policy creates impunity for hate crimes, and encourages assailants 
to continue, leading to this morning’s horrific result.”

“In recent years, Israeli civilians set fire to dozens of Palestinian 
homes, mosques, businesses, agricultural land and vehicles in the West 
Bank,” B’Tselem said. “The vast majority of these cases were never 
solved, and in many of them the Israeli police did not even bother to 
take elementary investigative actions.”

Impunity and laxness is the norm even in the most brutal and egregious 

Just over a year ago a group of Israeli youths abducted and burned to 
death the eastern occupied Jerusalem teenager Muhammad Abu Khudair 

In that case, Israeli police took their sweet time to find the suspects, 
despite the fact that they had video footage of their faces and getaway 
car (first published 
exclusively by The Electronic Intifada).

It was perhaps only due to the massive international outrage that they 
bothered to find them at all.

Their case is grinding its way through Israeli courts but there’s little 
reason to trust a system that treats Israelis who attack or kill 
Palestinians with exceptional leniency.

This month, two Israelis who burned a Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem 
got a light sentence despite the fact that they were totally 
unrepentant. On leaving court, they declared that the crime was “worth 
it <http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4682990,00.html>” in order 
to deter Jewish and Arab “assimilation.”

    Burned in a taxi

Then there was the case of the family who settlers burned alive on 16 
August 2012.

Jamila Hassan, her husband Ayman and their children Iman, 4, and 
Muhammad, 6, were riding in a taxi south of Bethlehem in the occupied 
West Bank, along with another passenger and the driver.

The car was hit by a Molotov cocktail. Ayman and the two children were 
badly injured. Muhammad suffered severe burns all over his body.

“We are lost, our life has turned upside down. The father, son and 
daughter are each in different worlds, our life is difficult and 
miserable,” Jamila told Ma’an News Agency 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=515766> two weeks after the attack.

Muhammad had just emerged in agony from yet another surgery. “He screams 
from the pain a lot,” his mother said.

At that time too there were Israeli promises of “justice.” But what 

Police arrested three minors from a nearby Jewish settlement and told 
the judge that they had found fingerprints 
at the scene linking the suspects to the crime.

According to /Haaretz/, Judge Yaron Mintkevich ruled to keep the boys in 
custody “with a heavy heart, due to their age” – they were reported to 
be between 12 and 13.

But in January 2013, Israeli prosecutors dropped the case 
citing a “lack of evidence.”

Had they been Palestinian children accused of throwing stones at 
occupation soldiers, they would have been kept in custody for months, 
subjected to horrific abuse 
amounting to torture and forced to confess.

Obviously, that’s not how Israel treats its own settlers who are subject 
to Israeli civil law, while Palestinians, including children, are 
subject to Israel’s military kangaroo courts 

    Dismantle Israeli apartheid

That built-in colonial equality is a reminder that the settlers are not 
the cause, but merely an ugly manifestation of Israeli colonial 
violence, rooted in Zionism, that is fed from the top.

Who can believe that a “justice” ministry led by Ayelet Shaked 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/ayelet-shaked> – who in her 
notorious genocidal appeal 
last year called for the killing of Palestinian mothers who give birth 
to “little snakes” – can do justice for Palestinians?

Perhaps the settlers who burned little Ali to death had taken the words 
of Shaked or any of the other Israeli politicians who routinely incite 
against Palestinians in the most extreme and violent terms to heart.

The bottom line is this: the murder of hundreds of children in Gaza last 
summer, the burning of Muhammad Abu Khudair, the attack that killed Ali 
Dawabsha are all part of the price Palestinians must pay 
for Israel to continue to exist and expand on their land as a racist 
self-declared “Jewish state.”

The only way Ali Dawabsha or any other Palestinian can ever get justice 
from the Israeli apartheid system is if it is completely dismantled.

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863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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