Middle East

Israelis charged over fatal West Bank family arson attack

Saad, Ali and Riham Dawabsha Image copyright EPA
Image caption Saad, Ali and Riham Dawabsha were killed when their home was firebombed in July last year

Israeli prosecutors have charged two suspects over an arson attack on a Palestinian family's home in the West Bank last year that killed three.

Amiram Ben-Oliel, 21, has been charged with murder, and a second suspect, a youth, as an accessory to murder.

At least two others have been charged over attacks on Palestinians.

The killing of Saad and Riham Dawabsha and their 18-month-old son, Ali, in the village of Duma last July sparked international condemnation.

Another son, four-year-old Ahmed, is still being treated for his wounds.

The Dawabsha family were sleeping in their home when it was firebombed early on 31 July, and daubed with slogans in Hebrew, including the word "revenge".

'No trust' in judiciary

Investigations have focused on young Jewish extremists, based largely in the occupied West Bank.

According to the indictment, Mr Ben-Oliel carried out the attack in retaliation for the killing of an Israeli settler in a drive-by shooting one month before the Duma attack.

Saad's brother Naser was unconvinced by Israel's commitment to the prosecution.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Dawabsha family were asleep when their home was attacked

"We have no trust in the Israeli judiciary. They would not have launched an investigation were it not for the international pressure on them," he said.

The arson case has been cited as a factor in a spate of attacks by Palestinians on Israelis across Israel and the occupied West Bank.

It also prompted the Israeli government to approve the use of administrative detention - a procedure under which a military court can order suspects to be detained indefinitely without charge or trial - for Jewish terror suspects.

Lawyers for some of those detained over the arson attack allege their clients were tortured to extract confessions but this has been denied by the Israeli authorities.