Netanyahu labels fatal arson attack as ‘terrorism’

Israeli PM Netanyahu calls arson attack that killed an 18-month-old Palestinian baby and seriously wounded three of his family members a ‘terror attack’

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday described the arson attack that claimed the life of an 18-month-old Palestinian baby on Thursday night and seriously wounded three of his family members as a “terror attack.”

Netanyahu also stated that he was "horrified by this terrible and criminal act. This is a clear-cut terrorist attack. Israel takes a strong hand against terror, no matter who its perpetrators are."

He added that he had ordered the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to use all means at their disposal to catch the murderers and bring them to justice.

Speaking with representatives from the defence establishment, including Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Israel Security Agency chief Yoram Cohen, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

"The government of Israel is unified in its vehement objection to such horrible and base acts. In the name of Israel's citizens, I wish to send my condolences to Ali Saad Dawabshe's family and wish them a speedy recovery."

State of Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas holds Israel responsible for what it also called as a horrible crime.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Abbas' spokesman, stated that such incidents would not occur if Israel's government had not insisted on the continued settlement construction.

"We will no longer accept verbal condemnations of such horrible crimes by the international community; we demand operative steps to bring about an end to the occupation and see its criminals brought to justice.”

"This is the consequence of a culture of hate funded and incentivized by the Israeli government and the impunity granted by the international community," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

Illegal Jewish settlers were reported to have started a fire late Thursday night after throwing firebombs into a Palestinian-owned house in the West Bank, killing an 18-month-old Palestinian baby and seriously wounding three of his family members.

Israeli police imposed restrictions on Palestinian access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday following the death of the infant.

Men below the age of 50 will not be allowed to attend Friday prayers, Azzam al-Khatib, General Director of the Jerusalem Endowment and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs, told the Ma'an news agency.

TRTWorld and agencies