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Israeli Official Whitewash for Burning a
Palestinian Family Alive:
An Excuse That Is Uglier Than a Sin
By Khalid Amayreh
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, September 14, 2015
|Ashes of the house of the
Dawabsheh Palestinian family, which was burned down by illegal
Israeli settlers, burning all family members inside, and
ultimately killing three of them, August 2015
Israeli “Defense” Minister Moshe Yaalon has admitted that his
country's domestic security apparatus knows the identities and whereabouts
of the Jewish terrorists who a few weeks ago burned a Palestinian family
to death at a village in the northern West Bank.
still-unidentified terrorists set the Dawabsheh family home, at the
village of Doma, south of the City of Nablus, on fire, burning to death
three members of the Palestinian family, the father, Saad, aged 34, the
mother Reham, aged 27, and their 18-month-old toddler Ali.
fourth and last member of the family, a male child, is fighting for his
life in hospital. His conditions have been described as stable.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Yaalon said the Israeli
security authorities were reluctant to arrest the suspected murderers in
order to protect the identity of their sources.
Yaalon refused to
say why he thought the protection of the "security sources identity" was
more important than arresting the murderers of three innocent human beings
and the attempted murder of a fourth.
Yaalon's remarks drew
furious reactions from Palestinians as well as some Israeli commentators.
Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, a renowned advocate of human rights,
described Yaalon's remarks "as very strange coming from a strange
"These are strange statements coming from a strange
minister," Levy said in a telephone interview with this reporter Saturday.
Levy described Yaalon’s remarks as “beyond Chutzpah."
don't think he would behave this way if the suspects were Palestinians. He
would move to get them arrested immediately."
Levy described the
murderers as "mentally sick people who have served time in mental
hospitals, adding that it was very dangerous to keep these people at
"They could embark at a new crime at any moment."
Another Israeli commentator, Danny Rubenstein, rejected Yaalon's rationale
for not arresting the suspected murderers of the Dawabsheh family.
"These are unacceptable excuses. This justification constitutes a real
insult to the most elementary principles of justice."
who was speaking on the Aljazeera English channel, said the suspected
killers would have to be arrested and prosecuted in order to prevent the
recurrence of the heinous crime.
Palestinian spokespersons strongly condemned Yaalon's remarks as "a
clarion proof of the Israeli government's complicity in terrorist crimes
committed by Jewish terrorists against our people."
is effectively saying is that Jewish terrorists are having an open license
to murder Palestinians and burning them to death," said Ahmed Tamimi, a
Hamas spokesman in al-Khalil (Hebron).
"I have no doubt that the
Israeli army and intelligence connived and colluded with the murderous
terrorists in carrying out the horrible crime"
Yaalon's rationale for not arresting the suspected murderers as "a cheap
"Just imagine how Yaalon would have behaved if
Palestinians were the perpetrators and Jews were the victims. Would he
have waited any time before arresting the suspects?"
Yaalon was behaving quite characteristically, given his "criminal record"
as Chief of Staff for the Israeli army.
"Yaalon believes deep in
his heart that a Palestinian is guilty and ought to be killed even if
proven innocent, and that a Jewish murderer is innocent even if proven
Muhammad Yousef, a Palestinian professor of science from
Bethlehem, described Ya'alon's statements as "an excuse that is uglier
than a sin."
"Imagine how Israeli and Zionist circles would react
if a European minister of interior justified the failure to arrest a
terrorist suspected of murdering a Jew on the ground that arresting the
suspect would have exposed the identity of a police agent and compromised
vital security information.
"I imagine Jewish circles everywhere
would have left no stone unturned in order to demonize and vilify the
European minister. Israel would also ask the government of that minister
to immediately fire him for his anti-Semitic discourse."
PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced Yaalon's remarks, saying
the remarks amounted to encouraging Jewish terrorists to carry out hideous
crimes and atrocities against innocent and unprotected Palestinians.
The settlers who perpetrated the shocking crime are believed to be
messianic Jews affiliated with an underground terrorist group that is
devoted to driving non-Jews away from Israel-Palestine in order to
establish a Talmudic Jewish kingdom ruled by Jewish religious rule, known
Some messianic Jews believe that the "age of
redemption" and appearance of the Redeemer, or Jewish Messiah, must be
preceded by worldwide tribulations and bloody violence in which numerous
people would lose their lives.
Messianic Jews also believe that
non-Jews living under Jewish law ought to be treated as "water carriers"
or "wood hewers."
In the past, leaders of the settler movement,
known as Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) wrote that non-Jews living in
a “truly Jewish state ruled by Halacha” would have to be enslaved,
expelled or physically exterminated.
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