Palestinian Infant Burned to Death in West Bank Arson Attack; IDF Blames 'Jewish Terror'

Settlers reportedly firebombed West Bank house early Friday morning; Hebrew graffiti was found at scene, reading 'revenge' and 'long live the Messiah.'

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Photos of Ali Saad Dawabsheh, an 18-month-old Palestinian killed by suspected Jewish extremists, lie in his firebombed house  in the West Bank village of Douma, Fri., July 31, 2015.
Photos of Ali Saad Dawabsheh, an 18-month-old Palestinian killed by suspected Jewish extremists, lie in his firebombed house in the West Bank village of Douma, Fri., July 31, 2015.Credit: AP

A one-and-a-half year-old Palestinian infant was burned to death and three of his family members were seriously wounded early Friday morning after a house was set on fire in the West Bank village of Douma, near Nablus.

According to witnesses, at roughly 4 A.M. Friday morning, two masked men arrived at two homes in the village of Douma, not far from the settlement of Migdalim. They sprayed painted graffiti reading "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" in Hebrew, breaking the windows of the homes and throwing two firebombs inside.

One of the two homes was empty at the time, but there was a family in the second: 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsheh, his father Sa'ad, mother Reham, and 4-year-old Ahmed.

The four were evacuated to a hospital in Nablus in the West Bank and then to the burns unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.

The Israel Defense Forces subsequently confirmed that 18-month-old Ali died in the attack, and that Jewish extremists are suspected to be behind the attack.

"This attack against Palestinian civilians is a barbaric act of terrorism," IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner tweeted soon after the attack. Forces combed the area in an attempt to find the perpetrators.

According to eyewitnesses, the father was able to rescue his wife and 4-year-old son, but could not locate the baby, Ali, in the darkness.

Graffiti reading 'revenge' found at the scene of the arson terror attack in Douma, July 31, 2015. (Credit: AP)

Local resident Mesalem Daoubasah, 23, said he saw four settlers fleeing the scene, with several local residents following in pursuit. According to Daoubasah, the settlers fled toward the settlement of Ma'aleh Ephraim.

Daoubasah added that other witnesses saw the settlers smash the windows of the house before throwing firebombs inside.

Damage to the home of the Dawabsheh family after Friday's arson attack, July 31, 2015. (Credit: AFP)

Following the attacks, fear of rioting and disorder at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem prompted restrictions on Muslim worshippers, with only those over 50 being permitted to enter the compound.

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai spoke with senior Palestinian officials and reiterated Israel's condemnation of the event.

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