Israeli PM condemns baby death celebration video

Israeli Prime Minister condemns viral video showing Jewish teenagers cheering death of Palestinian toddler Ali al Dawabsheh killed in arson attack

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Relatives mourn on August 8, 2015 in Duma village of West Bank's city of Nablus during the funeral ceremony of Saad Dawabsheh, the father of a Palestinian baby burned to death in an arson attack by Jewish extremists in the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Israeli politicians and religious figures have condemned a viral video aired on Wednesday night which showed a hall packed full of Jewish teenagers cheering the death of Palestinian toddler Ali al Dawabsheh, who was murdered in an anti-Palestinian arson attack in July 2015.

Ali al Dawabsheh died with his parents in July after attackers set their house on fire. Israeli officials described the incident as an act of "Jewish terrorism."

Teenagers cheering in the video are seen dancing with guns and firebombs and stabbing a picture of the slain toddler. They reportedly belong to a Jewish community called the Zealots.

Netanyahu, immediately condemned the "shocking images," which he said displayed "the real face of a group that poses danger to Israeli society and security," and said the wedding video was proof of the need to spare no effort in curbing violent Jewish extremists.

The video was filmed during a wedding party three weeks before it surfaced. An Israeli TV station, Channel 10, aired it on Wednesday night, and it consequently sparked a wave of outrage inside and outside Israel.

Some on the Israeli far right saw the leak of the video as a possible attempt by the Shin Bet to justify interrogation of the suspects in the killing.

Some of the suspects' lawyers have accused Shin Bet state security investigators of forcibly extracting confessions using torture, but Netanyahu has defended the Shin Bet's methods as "lawful."

"We are not prepared to accept people who deny the laws of the state and do not view themselves as subject to them. The pictures underscore how important a strong Israel Security Agency [Shin Bet] is to the security of us all."

Netanyahu's condemnation was well received within his coalition government formed this year, but Bezalel Smotrich, whose Jewish Home party is a powerful Likud partner in the Knesset, thought the leak was largely suspicious.

"My concern is that someone in the security establishment released this clip, at this time, in order to try to grant legitimacy to those aberrant interrogation methods, which apparently include unacceptable use of violence, against people from this group," Smotrich told Israel's Army Radio.

Israeli police said they will look into the incident and find out whether or not it can be considered as an incitement to violence.

TRTWorld and agencies