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Israeli court releases Israeli suspect of Dawabsheh-family murder

July 12, 2018 4:25 P.M. (Updated: July 13, 2018 2:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli District Court of Lodd in northern Israel decided on Thursday to set free an Israeli settler involved in the murder of the Palestinian Dawabsheh family on July 31, 2015 after setting their home in the northern West Bank village of Duma on fire.

The fire killed parents Saad and Riham and 18-month-old baby Ali, while causing severe burns to their other child Ahmad, who was 4 years old at the time and is the only surviving member of the family.

Relatives of the Dawabsheh family accused the court of being "racist and of double standard."

Relative Nasser Dawabsheh told Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned WAFA News Agency that the court decided to place the murderer, a minor, under house arrest and banned him from leaving the country or to use the phones or internet.

“It is a sad day for the family,” he said, “the decision brought back dreadful memories to us of the fire at my brother’s house and when we tried to save them. The scene has been re-enacted with the court ruling.”

Dawabsheh accused the Israeli court and judge of being racist and of using double standards, saying that if the suspect was Palestinian he and his family would have been severely punished, their house would be demolished, and even their entire village would have been subjected to collective punishment. "But when the crime is perpetrated by Israelis, courts try to find anything to get them out of it."

He said that "the Israeli court system gives impunity to the murderers of Palestinians and more reasons to continue to attack them."

He added that the family has no choice but to pursue the case at Israeli courts before appealing to international courts for justice if all efforts to convict the murderers fail.
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