Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - A one-and-a-half year-old Palestinian baby was burned to death and three of his family members were seriously wounded late Thursday night after settlers set on fire a house in the village of Douma, near Nablus. Another house was burned, but without casualties. The Israeli military called the attack a gesture of “terror."
Witnesses say that the settlers threw firebombs into the house and spraypainted graffiti reading "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" before fleeing. The whole house caught fire soon after.
The father Saad was able to rescue his wife Riham and 4-year-old boy Ahmad, but did not see the baby, Ali Saad Dawabsha, due to the lack of electricity.
Ali Saad Dawabsha died shortly after sustaining serious burns. His mother and father, and their older son, also sustained injuries and were evacuated to a nearby hospital.
According to another witness, there were four settlers, who fled the scene towards the nearby Maale Efrayim settlement.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed a Palestinian toddler was burned to death, and that Jewish extremists are suspected to be behind the attack.
"This attack against Palestinian civilians is a barbaric act of terrorism," IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said soon after the attack. Forces are combing the area in attempt to find the perpetrators.
Israeli settlers have carried out at least 120 attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of 2015, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Over 500,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, Some of them share a vision of radical Judaism, which ask to “purify” the Land of Israele by killing all the “pagans”, included the Palestinians.