Israeli Arab MKs Petition High Court for Indictments Against Douma Arsonists

The defense minister is on record as saying that the suspects in the arson attack on the Dewabsheh family are known but indicting them would reveal intelligence sources.

AP

An Israeli Arab political party has petitioned the High Court of Justice on Sunday to order Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon to indict the killers of the Dawabsheh family from the village of Douma.

Ali Dawabsheh, an 18-month-old infant, burned to death and three of his family members were seriously injured in an arson attack on their home in Douma, near Nablus, in late July. The infant's father, Sa'ad, and his mother, Reham, later died of their injuries.

The slogans "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" were spray-painted in Hebrew on the walls of the burned house.

Ya'alon said in September that Israel knows the identities of the suspects in the arson but has not arrested them in order to avoid revealing its sources.

The petition by four Knesset members from the Balad party, a member of the Joint List in the Knesset, follows a similar petition submitted by Meretz MK Esawi Freige last week.

In their petition, the Balad MKs argue that the decision not to indict the suspects is contrary to the principle of equality before the law and defies reason. All the conditions for prosecution exist, the MKs said, and there is no basis to the argument that there is insufficient evidence.

The petition also argues that intelligence information should not be favored over justice and administrative detention does not take precedence over open and public justice.

"The attorney general has ignored our approaches to him on the issue for the past two-and-a-half months, while the defense minister goes public with increasingly bizarre claims," said MK Basel Ghattas. "There's no reason not to put the killers on trial and they will now have to explain it to the court."

"There's no logic in the authorities continuing to ignore Jewish terror – and administrative detention, to which we object in principle, is not the solution."

The Jerusalem District Court is due to hand down its verdict on Monday against the three Israelis charged with killing Palestinian youth Muhammad Abu Khdeir in July 2014.