Meretz MK Asks High Court to Demand Indictments in Deadly West Bank Arson

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A Palestinian inspects the Dawabsheh family's house after it was torched in the village of Duma near the West Bank city of Nablus, July 31, 2015.Credit: AP

MK Esawi Freige (Meretz) petitioned the High Court of Justice Tuesday against Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, demanding that they prosecute the arsonists who torched the house of the Dawabsheh family in Duma in July. Freige asked the court to determine that Ya’alon’s decision to make do with administrative detentions of rightist activists without taking legal action against the murderers, whose identities are known to security agencies according to the minister, in order to protect the identities of intelligence sources “is fraught with illegality [and] is an extremely unreasonable approach showing a lack of proportionality and serious discrimination.”

In his suit Freige notes that five weeks after the murder in Duma Ya’alon appeared at a gathering of young Likud members and announced that “the defense establishment knows the identities of the people responsible for the attack in which the Dawabsheh home was torched, but is refraining from prosecuting them in order not to reveal intelligence sources in court.”

According to Freige, “this statement, which shows that the state is shirking its legal and moral duty to prosecute the perpetrators of this monstrous act, attests to a policy evincing an extremely unreasonable approach, lack of proportionality and severe discrimination – one cannot imagine a situation in which the attackers were Palestinians and the victims Jewish in which the state would refrain from taking legal action against the perpetrators. The recent rapid arrest of the murderers of the Henkin family attests to this very clearly.”

MK Freige and his attorney Eran Lev claim in their suit that the policy posited by the defense minister, by which the state is evading the prosecution of those responsible for the horrific murder, is a blatant violation of the state’s obligation to protect the physical security of West Bank Palestinians, an obligation stemming, among other sources, from the 43rd article of the Hague Regulations pertaining to the obligations of occupying powers.

Meretz MK Esawi Freige.Credit: Oren Nahshon

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