Police Seek Public's Help in Murder of Duma Toddler

Move marks a change in police policy after terror attacks in which radical settlers are suspects.

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Graffiti reading 'revenge' found at the scene of the arson terror attack in Duma, July 31, 2015.Credit: AP
Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

In an unusual step, the Judea and Samaria District police Tuesday published a public appeal for help in solving Friday's arson murder in Duma that killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh and critically injured his 4-year-old brother and parents.

"Whoever has any information that might help solve the murder is requested to contact the information hotline at 050-8386626," police said.

After similar crimes in the past, such as the 2012 arson attack on a Palestinian taxi that caused burns to family members inside, police did not seek the public's assistance. The change in approach in the Duma murder evidently stems from the police's belief that the shock caused by the toddler's death could lead people who were previously reluctant to give information to police to do so now.

The attack took place Friday morning when two masked figures approached two houses in Duma, near the Migdalim settlement.  They sprayed Hebrew graffiti on the walls – "Revenge" and "Long live King Messiah," a slogan of Chabad's "messianic wing" – broke a window in each and threw Molotov cocktails inside. No one was home at one of the houses, but in the other the infant Ali Dawabsheh was home with his family.

According to the Israeli hospitals administering care to the Dawabsheh family, all three are still facing life threatening wounds. The mother, Reham, is suffering from third-degree burns on 90 percent of her body and is on life support in the intensive care unit of Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.

Her four-year-old son, Ahmed, suffered second-degree burns to over 60 percent of his body; he too is hospitalized at Tel Hashomer.

Sa'ad, the father, suffered severe second-degree burns on over 80 percent of his body and is at the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva. He is also is on life support.

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