NABLUS, July 20, 2016 (WAFA) – Suspected Israeli settlers early Wednesday set fire to a Palestinian house in Duma village, south of Nablus, almost a year after three members of the Dawabsha family were killed in a similar arson attack.
Fires broke out around 3 a.m. in the second floor of the family house of Muhammad Dawabshe, whose relatives were killed in an arson attack in the Nablus village last summer. No injuries were reported though.
Flames spread quickly through parts of Dawabshe’s house after settlers smashed the window of the bedroom and hurled inflammable materials, most likely firebombs.
Dawabsha and his family were asleep around 3 a.m. when he heard unusual noises around the house.
“Shortly afterwards,” he added, “firebombs were hurled inside the second floor of the house and then a loud blast rocked the house,” located near the house targeted in the July 2015 fatal arson attack.
The family managed to escape the house and the father sustained burns while trying to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the house.
Soon after, firefighters from the Nablus-based Palestinian Civil Defense (PCD) station arrived at the arson scene to put down the fire.
Israeli media reported on the Israeli police saying that “there was no evidence of politically motivated crime at the scene, but that the background to the incident seemed to be criminal.”
Police claimed Palestinian firefighters “didn’t provide details on the circumstances of the incident and whether it was a case of arson or if a technical fault led to the fire.”
However, in a press release issued on their official Facebook Page, PCD said investigators confirmed that a “highly inflammable material” is the main cause of the fire.
The press release pointed out that investigators ruled out “all other possible causes for the fire,” and refuted claims attributing the fire to an electrical short circuit after inspecting internal electrical cables and main home electrical board.
Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli settlement construction in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that “settlers were the main suspects in the arson attack,” especially that inflammable material, not available in the Palestinian market, was used for the purpose.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Cabinet Spokesperson Yousef al-Mahmoud slammed the arson attack as “cowardly and brutal”.
He said the attack is “a war crime that is punishable by international law,” and called upon all international institutions to immediately provide protection to the Palestinian people and take serious action to bring the Israeli occupation to an end.
Surrounded by 12 Israeli settlements and 37 outposts, built in contravention of international law, the northern West Bank district of Nablus continues to suffer from settlers’ violence.
On July 31, 2015, suspected Israeli settlers set fire to a family house in Duma, burning Ali Dawabsha, an infant, alive. Ali’s parents, Riham, 28, and Sa‘ed succumbed to their wounds weeks later. The couple’s four-year-old son Ahmad is the only remaining survivor of the attack.