(JNi.media) Riham Dawabsha, 27, mother of the late infant Ali Dawabsha and wife of the late Sa’ad Dawabsha, died Sunday night. All three sustained their lethal injuries in an arson fire that consumed two homes in Duma Village, near Ramallah, on July 31. Another son Ahmad, 4, is still in the hospital. The second home was empty. Over the past five weeks, most reports on the tragic incident repeatedly attributed responsibility for the arson to “Jewish extremists,” based on the fact that the arsonists left two graffiti slogans in Hebrew on the walls of the Dawabsha home. Several Arab organizations have announced they hold the Israeli leadership fully responsible for the arson attack, and called for revenge. Hamas, to name one, said that the killing of the baby made all “Israeli soldiers and settlers legitimate targets for ‘resistance.’” The term “resistance” in this context is code for cold blooded killing.
Over the five weeks that have passed since the attack, many in Israel, on both ends of the political spectrum, have expressed frustration at the apparent failure of security forces to come up with suspects. Arab MK Zuheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp) said on Sunday, “The heart aches. 39 days, three family members were killed, and not one detainee or even a faint clue to suggest who was responsible for the barbarian outrage that destroyed an entire family. Israeli security forces, who boast their elite intelligence, advanced weapons systems and grandiose investigative organizations, are unable to bring to trial a few small time murderers. It’s enraging, but mostly, it’s shameful.”
A few weekends ago, in what appeared more like the security forces venting their frustration than actual police work, cops and soldiers raided several Jewish settlements and picked up some 16 “Jewish extremists,” one of them a celebrity—the grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. When the dust settled, not a single detainee was charged, and the police admitted failure by asking the courts to impose a variety of different administrative detentions on the suspects. This was followed by the first charges against their suspects — two of them were caught at a conference about administrative detentions, which was in violation of their own administrative detentions. As to the arson investigation, so far—nothing.
Meanwhile, a fire broke out on Sunday night, on August 23, in a house belonging to another member of the Dawabsha family in the Duma village. Early Arab reports blamed that fire, too, on Jewish extremists, but after a while the head of the Duma village council, Abdul Salam Dawabsha, announced the fire started due to a malfunctioning electric system. But local residents told NRG that they found a Molotov cocktail inside the burnt Dawabsha house, and suggested the house—located at the center of the village, just like the other two Dawabsha burnt houses had been—had been set on fire as the result of an internal conflict. The same locals noted that, contrary to the previous fire, this house was left without Hebrew graffiti smeared on the walls. Finally, Ghassan Douglas, who holds the Settlers portfolio in the Palestinian Authority, told WAFA that the house was burnt as the result of arson, and that a family member was injured from smoke inhalation.
A fourth house belonging to the Dawabsha clan in Duma was set on fire in February of this year, and a Dawabshe family car was burnt in June. There were no Hebrew writings next to any of those other four arsons, and so the media, Arab and Israeli, have largely ignored them.
Why wasn’t the most recent fire investigated with the same zeal as the one that caused the death of three Dawabshas?