AJC Strongly Condemns Fatal Arson Attack on West Bank Palestinian Family

Jul 31, 2015, 10:57 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, July 31, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC condemns in the strongest possible terms the fatal arson attack on a Palestinian family in the West Bank village of Duma, that left an 18-month-old child dead and his four-year-old brother and parents critically injured.

The overnight assault has the markings of another "price tag" attack. It was immediately condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and others across the political spectrum. Netanyahu called the attack "an act of terrorism in every respect."

"Price Tag" is the term widely used for attacks by Jewish extremists that have targeted churches, mosques, bilingual schools, and Palestinian individuals. On a wall near the torched home in Duma was spray-painted in Hebrew the words "Revenge" and "Long live the king messiah," alongside a Star of David.

"Setting ablaze the home of an innocent Palestinian family, of any such family, is frightening in its pure evil," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Whoever carried out this appalling deed must be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and additional steps must be taken in an effort to prevent any future such attacks. Meanwhile, we pray for the recovery of those injured in this murderous assault."

During the last Israeli government, a proposal to prosecute perpetrators of "price tag" attacks as terrorists was considered but not adopted. "The Israeli government should reconsider how Jewish extremists are handled and set a firm policy," said Harris.

As Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said after the Duma attack, "To my great sorrow, until now it seems we have been lax in our treatment of the phenomenon of Jewish terrorism. Perhaps we did not internalize that we are faced with a determined and dangerous, ideological group, which aims to destroy the fragile bridges which we work so tirelessly to build."


SOURCE American Jewish Committee