Israel: no compensation for Palestinian family burnt to death

Israel will not pay compensation to family of Ahmad Dawabsha, Palestinian toddler whose family were killed in arson attack by Israeli settlers in 2015.

The Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has passed this decision in an official letter to the Israeli Knesset.

Yousef Jabareen, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, had demanded Lieberman to recognise the Dawabsha family as victims of a terrorist act and to pay financial compensation after settlers raided and torched the family home in Duma village of Nablus.

“Compensation should be a right, not a gift,” he said, stressing that “the state needs to give him full compensation due to the severity of the incident and the loss he has suffered.”

Jabareen said that the family would now “turn to the courts” to seek redress and compensation for the young boy.

He accused Lieberman of implementing a racist policy towards the Palestinians. “The defence minister’s position is based on racial discrimination,” the Knesset member said in a statement.

“If we were talking about Jewish settlers hurt by Palestinians, the victims would automatically receive compensation,” he added.

Responding to Jabareen’s accusations, the Israeli defence minister said that the six-year-old boy, who was badly injured in the attack, does not qualify as a “terror victim” and does not hold Israeli citizenship and therefore not entitled to compensation.”

The Israeli law stipulates that Israel must compensate Israelis affected by acts of terrorism; however, the law does not apply to Palestinians “who are not citizens or residents of Israel,” according to Lieberman’s letter.

In 2016, the Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, rejected a request by Jabareen to recognise Dawabsha family as “terror victims.”

In January 2016, a 21-year-old Israeli settler—Amiram Ben-Uliel—and an unnamed 16-year-old minor were indicted for carrying out the Duma arson attack, during which two homes in Duma, south of Nablus, were raided.

Ali Dawabsha, 18 months old, father Saad Dawabsha and mother Riham, were burnt to death in the attack.

Their toddler, Ahmad, who was four at the time, was the only surviving member of the family after receiving medical treatment for severe burns.

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