Nine Jewish settlers suspected of being behind an arson attack on a Palestinian family in the West Bank, where a baby boy and his father were killed, were arrested by Israeli police on Sunday morning.
Raids were carried out by Israel’s Shin Bet security service in the Baladim outpost, where seven of the Jewish attackers were arrested. A separate raid also saw the arrest of two suspects in the Adei Ad outpost near Duma village, where 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned alive last week. His father Sa’ad Dawabsheh passed away due to injuries days later.
Sa’ad Dawabsheh, the 32-year-old father, succumbed second degree burns sustained in the attack on Saturday. Meanwhile, his wife and other son remain hospitalised after suffering third degree burn injuries.
Following the deadly arson attack, the Israeli government said it will detain suspects believed to be linked to violent attacks on Palestinian civilians. However, Israeli authorities said they are still trying to identify the culprit behind the attack.
The practice of "administration detention," which often sees suspected Palestinian militants detained without trial, will also be extended to ultra-nationalist Jewish militants, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon’s spokesman said last week.
Eighteen-year-old Mordechai Meyer, a Jewish settler from the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement who was placed under administrative detention for six months after an order was issued by the Israeli defence minister due to his involvement in a group deemed to be a terrorist organisation, was among those detained.
Another suspect, Eviatar Slonim, was also among those who were detained. Slonim had previously been arrested after being suspected of an arson attack on a Palestinian home in the South Hebron Hills in November 2014.
Meir Ettinger, who is in his early 20s, was also detained, but he was not suspected of being involved in the arson attack in Duma, i24news - an online news agency - stated. However, Ettinger is reportedly linked to a recent arson attack on the historic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, located by the Sea of Galilee.