20 July 2018

Seven Israeli suspects arrested after Duma arson attack

KONFRONTASI-Israeli security forces have arrested several Israelis suspected of plotting violence against Palestinians.

The country’s Shin Bet security service and Israel police conducted operations on Sunday morning, arresting at least seven people at two unauthorised settlement outposts in Adei Ad in the north of the occupied West Bank, local media said.

"Following various incidents that occurred in the West Bank recently, Israeli forces have carried out various searches throughout the night and have arrested a few suspects," the police said in a statement, adding that the crackdown was part of "the investigation into the events that occurred in Duma." 

The arson attack in Duma last month, which has been blamed on settlers, left a Palestinian baby and his father dead.

Saad Dawabsheh and his 18-month-old son Ali died and two other family members were severely injured in the July 31 attack.  

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet has come under growing pressure to crack down on violent far-right Jewish groups since the attack, and the government decided to allow harsher interrogations of Israelis suspected of plotting violence against Palestinians with methods once reserved for Palestinian detainees.

It also said it would start detaining citizens suspected of political violence against Palestinians without trial, another practice previously used only against Palestinians.

Netanyahu put out a statement expressing his "deep sorrow" over Dawabsheh's death.[mr/aje]