Dawabsha arson suspect released to house arrest

PNN/Bethlehem

On Thursday, one of the suspects in the fatal arson attack on the Dawabsha family in July was released to house arrest.

The settler, connected to a Jewish extremist organization, was arrested along with several others as a suspect in the arson that killed three members of the Dawabsha family in Duma village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

He was not identified due to a court-imposed gag order on the investigation, but it was stated that he is not one of the minors being held in the investigation.

Ahmad, Ali and their mom.
Ahmad, Ali and their mom.

The man was arrested 12 days ago by the Israeli intelligence and presented to an Israeli court on Wednesday, Israeli media reported. His detention was extended to Sunday, but was unexpectedly released on Friday.

All other information regarding the investigation is still under a gag order requested by the Israeli police.

On July 31, the village of Duma was awaken to an arson executed by extremist Israeli settlers who attacked and burned the family house while they were all asleep.

The baby Ali Saad, 18-month-old, died at the scene and the mother and father sustained critical burns that covered mostly 80% to 90% of their bodies. The father succumbed to wounds a week after while the mother while the mother died one month later.

Now, four months after the arson attack, Ahmad’s family nervously watch over him in his sleep.

“Yesterday his grandfather phoned me and said he’s shouting ‘they burned us, they burned us.’ It was the same thing he said when he first woke up [after the attack],” says Nagham Qasem, 44, who helps care for Ahmad. “Last week, he was saying in his sleep ‘bring me daddy.’ We had to wake him up to stop the dream.”

Hussein, the grandfather and Ahmad.
Hussein, the grandfather and Ahmad.

As reported by IMEMC, “Ahmad talks about his father as a hero who could wrestle lions and he worries about Ali, whom he believes is at home alone and will be scared of the dark while his parents, as he believes, are in the hospital. Anytime Ahmad receives a present, he promises to take it home to share with his baby brother, says Qasem.”

“It feels like knives are stabbing my heart [when he asks about his parents] because I don’t know how to answer him. I can’t lie to him but I also can’t tell him the truth,” his grandfather, Hussein Dawabsha, told Anadolu Agency.

“He will be imagining his parents and brother waiting but they won’t be there. He will expect a big party and all the family and friends. But [when he finds out] even if we build him a big castle [it wouldn’t be enough.] He would just want to keep to his own small room. Only Allah can help him,” says Hussein.

“I feel the same now as I have since the attack. I’ve been sad and depressed. For me, these arrests don’t change anything, I don’t believe in their justice,” Hussein added.