The Palestinian Authority government announced on Saturday that it was planning to continue its diplomatic and legal efforts to pursue Israeli “criminals.”
The announcement came in response to the death of Sa’ad Dawabasha, the father of the baby who was burned to death in an arson attack in the village of Duma last week. The father, who was critically injured in the attack, died of his wounds early Saturday.
Hamas and several other Palestinian groups called on Palestinians to carry out retaliatory attacks against Israel.
A spokesman for the PA government in Ramallah said that the death of Sa’ad Dawabsha was “further proof of the gravity of the crime committed by a group of settler terrorists.”
The spokesman said that the “presence of Israeli occupation is the reason for all crimes committed against our people. The only way to stop these crimes is by ending this occupation.”
Last week PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki handed over to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague a report detailing “settler assaults” against Palestinians over the past few years, including the arson attack that targeted the home of the Dwabsha family, instantly killing their son, 18-month old Ali.
The PA government renewed its call for providing international protection for the Palestinians in the face of recurring settler attacks.
Malki said on Saturday that the “heinous crime” against the Dawabsha family would not go unpunished. He held the “extremist right wing Israeli government” fully responsible for the arson attack and claimed that it wasn’t doing anything against Jewish terrorism.
Malki called on the international community to hold accountable those responsible for the arson attack and Israeli authorities “for their ongoing crimes against Palestinians and their properties.”
He said that the PA Foreign Ministry has instructed all its embassies to “expose Israeli violations against our people, especially continued settler attacks and terrorism.” He added that the arson attack would mark the “beginning of the end of settlements and settlers.”
The ruling Fatah faction mourned the death of Sa’ad Dawabsha and urged Palestinians to participate in committees established to patrol villages and guard Palestinians against settler violence.
Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said that the case of the Dawabsha family would be brought before the International Criminal Court to ensure that the perpetrators are punished. He too held the Israeli responsible.
In the Gaza Strip, Hamas responded to the death of Sa’ad Dawabsha by calling for an all-out confrontation with Israel. Hussam Badra, a spokesman for Hamas, called on Palestinians in the West Bank to initiate attacks against settlers “and not to wait until they reach Palestinian houses.”
A statement released by Hamas claimed that the father was a “Hamas son.” It said that he was a “victim of Israeli terrorism and hatred against Arabs and Palestinians.” Hamas said that its men in the West Bank were preparing to avenge the death of the father and his son.