UN Envoy 'Concerned' at Israel's Failure to Catch Murderers of West Bank Family

Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for Middle East process, says 'slow progress' in completing probe into Dawabsheh family murders is worrying.

Palestinian women look at the damage at the Dawabsheh family's home in the West Bank village of Duma, August 4, 2015.
Palestinian women look at the damage at the Dawabsheh family's home in the West Bank village of Duma, August 4, 2015.Credit: AFP

The United Nations envoy to the Middle East on Wednesday expressed concern over Israel’s failure to catch the murderers of three members of a Palestinian family in July.

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East process, said in a statement that Israeli authorities’ “slow progress” to complete the murder investigation was worrying.

The mother, father and 18-month-old toddler of the Dawabsheh family died after their house in the West Bank village of Duma was firebombed by suspected Jewish extremists in July. The attacks led to widespread condemnation globally as well as by Israelis and Palestinians, but as yet no one has been charged for the killings.

“Four months have passed since the arson attack against the Dawabsheh family,” Mladnenov said. “The brutal murder of the baby Ali and his parents Reham and Sa’ad angered the Palestinians and shocked the Israelis. I am concerned by the slow progress and call on the Israeli authorities to move swiftly to bring the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice.”

He said the fact that no one has been charged with the murder yet was “worrying.”

Israeli news media reports this week suggested a breakthrough in a case involving Jewish extremists is imminent, but a judge’s gag order has prevented details from being published.

The authorities have suggested that some of the suspects may be currently detained under Israel’s administrative detention policy, which enables suspects to be held without trial for renewable six-month periods.

Outgoing Acting Police Commissioner Bentzi Sau said on Tuesday he was highly confident that the murderers of the Dawabsheh family will be caught, telling Haaretz that the case was very high on the police’s priorities.

“This case isn’t moving from the Shin Bet and police central unit’s investigators’ table. We’re doing everything we can to solve it. It should be Israel’s biggest interest to solve the case and catch the perpetrators,” he said.

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