Right-wing Extremists Protest West Bank Arson Murder Trial: 'Your Grandson's on the Grill'

Screaming in Arabic, protesters supporting defendant Ben-Uliel chanted at Hussein Dawabshe - whose daughter Reham, son-in-law Sa'ad and grandson Ali were killed in 2015 – 'Where is Ali, there is no Ali, Ali burned'

Right-wing activists protesting in front of the Central District Court in Lod, June 20, 2018
Ilan Assayag

Right-wing extremists protested Tuesday in support of Amiram Ben-Uliel, the chief defendant in the Dawabshe family murder case from 2015. Protesters confronted the family's grandfather, Hussein, outside the Central District Court in Lod and shouted offensive remarks.

Screaming in Arabic, protesters chanted at Hussein - whose daughter Reham, son-in-law Sa'ad and grandson Ali were killed in the arson – "Where is Ali, there is no Ali, Ali burned. Ali is on the grill." Present at the protest was Yitzhak Gabbay, a right-wing activist who was convicted of setting fire to the bilingual school in Jerusalem and served a three-year prison term.

The protest was held in front of the court, where it was determined that most of Ben-Uliel's confession was legally admissible. Protesters held signs saying "The people are with you." Across from them, a small counter-protest was held by left-wing activists calling to "prosecute the murderers." 

The court ruled that confessions given by Ben-Uliel under torture were disqualified, but the confession he gave separately was accepted in full. The court also accepted the confessions of a juvenile defendant in the case regarding his involvement in a nationalistic revolt group, but disqualified the confessions tying him to the murder, as they were given under duress.

Hussein's other grandson, Ahmed, is the only family member to survive the arson. At the start of the deliberation, Hussein said "these criminals burned an entire family. The child keeps asking for his father and his mother, and I ask the judge to put this child in front of his eyes and that justice will be served in this trial."

Hussein Dawabshe outside the court in Lod, June 20, 2018
Ilan Assayag

Hussein and his family have been closely following the case. "I filed a request to be allowed to attend the trial in Lod, and I want to be there and hear every word," Hussein said before the deliberation began. "From the start, we had no faith the judicial system in Israel would do us justice. Now they seek every way to acquit the convicted, and if such a thing happens, this whole case goes down the drain."