EU, U.S. State Department Condemn 'Vicious' West Bank Arson Attack

Death of Palestinian infant prompts European Union to call on Israel to protect Palestinian population; Abbas labels attack a 'crime against humanity'; State Dept. condemns terror attack 'in strongest possible terms.'

AFP

The European Union and U.S. State Department condemned on Friday the West Bank arson terror attack in which an 18-month-old Palestinian infant, Ali Sa'ad Dawabsheh, burned to death. 

"The cold-blooded killing of Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsheh, presumably by extremist settlers, is a tragic reminder of the dramatic situation in the region that highlights the urgent need for a political solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," the EU said in a statement.

The EU demanded Israel begin a full investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice, saying, "the Israeli authorities should also take resolute measures to protect the local population. We call for full accountability, effective law enforcement and zero tolerance for settler violence."

The State Department released a statement, saying it condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the "vicious terror attack."  

"We convey our profound condolences to the Dawabsheh family and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured," the statement said.

The statement also said the U.S. welcomes Netanyahu's "order to Israel's security forces to use all means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers for what he called an act of terrorism and bring them to justice. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this tragic incident."

Meanwhile, the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it holds Israel responsible for what the Palestinian president called a "crime against humanity." Abbas said the PA would ask the International Criminal Court to look into the deadly attack.

"We cannot separate the barbaric attack that took place in Duma last night from the recent settlement approvals by the Israeli government," said Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. "By continuing to approve settlements and incite against Palestinian presence the Israeli government has paved the road for this brutal act. This is the consequence of a culture of hate funded and incentivized by the Israeli government and the impunity granted by the international community."