The Night a Jewish Terrorist Killed Three Members of a Palestinian Family

Amiram Ben-Uliel had planned to attack the village of Duma with an accomplice, but when the accomplice failed to turn up, he set out alone, indictment filed Sunday alleges.

A relative holds up a photo of Ali Dawabsheh in the torched house in Duma, July 31, 2015.
A relative holds up a photo of Ali Dawabsheh in the torched house in Duma, July 31, 2015.Credit: AP

Amiram Ben-Uliel, 21, left his home on the night of July 30, 2014, intent on avenging the shooting death of settler Malachi Rosenfeld in the vicinity of the village of Duma, near Nablus, a month before, according to the charge sheet against him filed on Sunday.

He was dressed in dark clothes and carried a bag containing two bottles filled with flammable material, rags, a lighter, a box of matches, gloves and black spray paint.

In the days preceding the attack, Ben-Uliel and a minor who cannot be named had allegedly made their plans and carried out surveillance of the neighboring villages of Duma and Majdal. The two discussed where to carry out the attack, deciding finally to start with Duma and then move on to Majdal, if possible.

Their intention was to target buildings in the center of the village in order to heighten the fear and panic it would cause and to kill people in their homes, the indictment said.

Amiram Ben-Uliel.Credit: Facebook

Ben-Uliel and the minor had agreed to meet in a cave near an outpost known as Yishuv Hada'at, before proceeding to Duma. But the minor failed to arrive. After waiting for about an hour, Ben-Uliel decided to act alone.

When he arrived at the outskirts of Duma at around midnight, he tied his shirt around his head, to prevent himself from being identified, and put on the gloves. The he began searching for a building that met his requirements.

Finding a two-storey building that seemed appropriate, he allegedly primed his firebombs in the yard of the building, spray-painted "Revenge" and "Long live the King Messiah" on the outside wall of the building then threw a firebomb through an open window. The house, which was empty, went up in flames.

He then proceeded to the house of Sa'ad and Raham Dawabsheh, carrying his second firebomb. Failing twice to open windows, he finally managed to open the window of the bedroom in which the family was sleeping. He lit the firebomb, lobbed it through the window and fled, the indictment said

The blaze erupted quickly and violently, killing 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh immediately and his parents after several weeks in hospital. Only his brother, four-year-old Ahmed, remained alive, though severely burned.

In the Lod District Court on Sunday, Ben Uliel was charged with three counts of murder for the arson at the Dawabsheh home and one case of attempted murder for setting alight the uninhabited home.

The minor was charged with being an accessory to murder for his part in the planning of the attack.

Charges were also filed on Sunday against other Jewish extremists accused of sundry acts of arson and vandalism.

Yinon Reuveni, Hanoch Ganiram and three other minors were indicted for an arson attack on the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, setting fire to a grain silo in the West Bank village of Akraba, the burning of a Palestinian taxi in the West Bank village of Yasuf, slashing the tires of cars in the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa on two occasions, assaulting a Palestinian shepherd near the West Bank settlement of Kochav Hashahar and other acts of violence against Palestinians.

Ben-Uliel's family doesn't believe that their son is guilty of the charges against him and maintain that the Shin Bet tortured him into making a confession.

In a video released on Sunday, Ben-Uliel's parents said they were "shocked and outraged by the suspicions attributed to our beloved son."

"We believe in our son's innocence, which will come to light in court, and hope that the court is exposed to the serious torture he underwent during the weeks of his interrogation," the parents said.

"This confession is not worth anything because he didn't do it," said Ben-Uliel's wife Orian. "I know he was home that night. This entire story is lies and political persecution."

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