Photo Credit: Channel 2
Amiram Ben-Uliel, victim of "enhanced torture"

An indictment was filed Sunday morning in Lod District Court against Amiram Ben Uliel, 21, from Jerusalem, and a 17-year-old boy whose name is kept from publication, over their involvement in the murder of three members of the Dawabsheh family in the Arab village of Duma on July 31. Ben-Uliel is accused of three murder counts, two attempted murder counts, two arson accounts and a conspiracy to commit a racially motivated crime. The minor is accused of conspiracy to commit a racially motivated crime.

According to the indictment, filed by the Central District Attorney’s Office, a man named Mamoun Dawabsheh owned a two-story house near the home of his relatives and Sa’ad and Riham Dawabsheh. At that time, the accused lived in outposts near Duma. According to news reports last summer, Mamoun Dawabsheh and his wife were away in Shechem on the night of the fire.


The indictment reveals that in July 2015 the two accused conspired to attack Arabs to avenge the murder of Malachi Rosenfeld, 25, a resident of Kochav Hashachar, who was gunned down by a terrorist outside the village of Shvut Rachel, not far from Duma. According to the indictment, Ben-Uliel and the minor met in the Geulat Zion outpost to discuss the possibility of carrying out an act of revenge. They then planned to have another meeting at the Yishuv Ha’da’at outpost, to advance the plan of attack. Eventually they did meet at Yishuv Ha’da’at and conducted observations of the villages Duma and Majdal Bnei Fadal.

The minor continued his observations of the two villages and noted they were connected by a road and orchards. The prosecution claims that a few days prior to the July 31 attack, the two defendants met and the minor updated Ben-Uliel regarding his findings, suggesting both villages could be hit on the same night. The two defendants allegedly agreed to attack in Duma, and should it be possible, to attempt a second attack in Majdal Bnei Fadal. “The defendants’ purpose was to kill people who were staying inside their homes,” the indictment states.

The two defendants allegedly agreed to carry out the attack on the night between July 30 and 31, 2015. To that end they agreed to meet at that time in a cave at the Yishuv Hada’at outpost. They also agreed that Ben Uliel would bring with him the necessary provisions to carry out the attack.

According to the indictment, as part of the conspiracy, Ben-Uliel prepared two bottles filled with a flammable liquid, rags, a lighter, a matchbox, gloves and a black paint spray can. He placed these items in a bag that he left near his home.

On July 30, at 11 PM, according to the indictment, Ben-Uliel put on a pair of dark pants and two dark shirts. He left his home in the Geualat Zion outpost, took the bag, and as agreed with the minor, walked towards the cave. That same night the minor had been partying with a large number of other minors at the Givat Habaladim outpost. At some point the minor left the outpost with the intent of joining up with Ben-Uliel. But for a reason unknown to the prosecution, that meeting never materialized. When Ben-Uliel reached the cave the minor was not there, and after waiting one hour he decided to go at it alone, got up and started walking toward Duma.

When Ben-Uliel arrived in Duma, he took off one of his shirts, tied its sleeved around his head to conceal his face, and put on the gloves. According to the indictment, in order to increase the effect of fear and deterrence among the residents, Ben-Uliel decided to go deep into the village and not settle for setting fire to a building along the village’s outside borderline. To increase the effect and to make sure the house he lights up is not abandoned, Ben-Uliel looked for a well-groomed home, with signs of habitation. When he reached the neighboring homes of Sa’ad and Riham Dawabsheh and of Mamoun Dawabsheh, he allegedly decided that they would suit his purpose as targets.

At that time, Sa’ad, Riham, little Ali and little Ahmed Dawabsheh were asleep in their bedroom. Mamoun Dawabsheh’s home was vacant. Ben-Uliel climbed the fence around the homes, and approached Mamoun’s home. He first spray painted the two slogans, “Revenge!” and “Long live the King Messiah!” on the house. He then found an unlocked window and opened it. He moved away from the window, took out of his bag the two bottles filled with flammable liquid and the rags. He removed the bottle caps and placed them inside his bag, used a stick to push the rags into the bottles’ openings and placed them on the ground.

According to the indictment, Ben-Uliel then used the lighter to ignite one of the Molotov cocktails and threw it into Mamoun Dawabsheh’s home through the open window, with the aim of killing the inhabitants. He also threw the bag and the spray can into the house, which caught fire and eventually burned down.

Immediately following that, according to the indictment, Ben-Uliel turned to the home of Sa’ad and Riham Dawabsheh, with the remaining Molotov cocktail. Ben-Uliel searched for a window he could open, trying two windows unsuccessfully. Then he reached the bedroom, where the entire family was sleeping, which was open but enclosed with bars and a net. Ben-Uliel pulled away the net, set the bottle on fire and threw it at the barred window with an intent to kill the inhabitants. The bottle snapped against the bars, a fire started and Ben-Uliel ran away.

The fire reached all four family members. Sa’ad and Riham fled the house. The child Ahmed reached the doorway and the baby Ali remained in his crib and perished. Sa’ad and Riham died later of the wounds they had sustained in the fire. Ahmed, who was hospitalized in Tel Hashomer Medical Center, is recovering from his injuries.

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, representing the two suspects in the arson murder the Duma family, issued a message saying the indictment is not the last word in this issue but the opening of a Pandora’s box by the Shabak. Reminding readers of past cases where the Shabak and police failed to solve murders and in one case (Bus 300) became the subject of investigations themselves, Ben-Gvir suggested security services on occasion would “do anything to show they solved a crime, even at the cost of incriminating the innocent.”

“My clients are innocent,” Ben-Gvir stated. “My client Amiram Ben-Uliel never gave a confession to police!!! Only as a result of torture did he break down under Shabak interrogations. If the Shabak claims there was no torture, let them respectfully hand over all the tapes from the Shabak cellars. The minor I represent has also endured severe abuse.”

The indictment describes all the suspects as anti-Zionist anarchists whose goal is to destroy and uproot the State of Israel.

Three juveniles are also charged with a series of acts of terrorism and vandalism against Arabs, including as arson attack against the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, burning a taxi, burning a store room, slashing tires, and beating up some shepherds.

There is a gag order on the names of the minors and the methods the Shabak used in their investigation.


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